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madden_im

madden_im

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Published by: d-fbuser-93565745 on Aug 11, 2011
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02/18/2013

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Reading drama may seem to have its limitations, particularly for students
who spend so much more of their time viewing, but it can still be very
rewarding. So much of what many students view is considerably more
obvious and cliched than the plays in this text. One valuable objective is to
“stretch” their sensibilities beyond what they’re used to.

For purposes of comparison and clarification, drama's natural counterpart is
fiction. The descriptions of the elements in the fiction section are a good
foundation and point of departure. If students understand the elements of
narration, conflict, plot, characterization and theme in fiction, it's an easy
shift to understanding how they are similar and different in drama.

Point of View

Most fundamental is an understanding of the limited role of narration in
drama and the way this affects all the other elements.

You may find it helpful to pick a page or a small section of a short story and
a play and compare them. What is the physical layout of each? What is the
role of narration? What is the dialogue like? You might even choose samples
of the range within each genre. For example, the first-person narration of
Updike's "A&P" and Hemingway's "Hills Like White Elephants" for narrative

52

perspective in fiction and Shakespeare's Othello and Williams' The Glass
Menagerie
in drama.

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