Conventions/ Features of Drama


Monologue is a speech in a play that is giving by one character. The character often stands on the stage and speaks – in this speech the audience is able to understand the character’s plans, actions and intentions. Monologues often help to create dramatic irony because the audience is aware of the character’s plans; however, the other characters are oblivious to this information.

Dialogue is the conversation between characters in a drama or narrative.

Soliloquy – A dramatic or literary form of discourse in which a character talks to himself or herself or reveals his or her thoughts without addressing a listener. The soliloquy also helps to create dramatic irony.

Aside – an actor’s speech, directed to the audience,  that is not supposed to be heard by other actors on stage. This is seen in Shakespeare plays.

Set – The time, place, physical details, and circumstances in which a situation occurs.

Stage directions  are a playwright’s descriptive or interpretive comments that provide readers (and actors) with information about the dialogue, setting, and action of a play.

Stage Conventions – Certain devices used within a performance that are accepted as portraying an event or style without necessarily being realistic. (eg costumes)

Chorus – A group of characters who comment on the action of a play without participation in it.

Dramatic Unites – the three unities of time, place and action observed in a classical drama.

Disguise – To modify the manner or appearance of in order to prevent recognition.

Literary Devices

Imagery – the author’s attempt to create a mental picture in the mind of the reader.

Motif – Recurring theme in a literary work

Symbolism – when an object is meant to be representative of something or an idea greater than the object itself.

Dramatic Irony – involves the reader (or audience) knowing something about what’s happening in the plot, about which the character(s) have no knowledge.

Tragic Irony – a character’s actions lead to consequences that are both tragic, and contrary to the character’s desire and intentions.

Juxtaposition – The arrangement of two or more ideas, characters, actions, settings, phrases, or words side-by-side or in similar narrative moments for the purpose of comparison, contrast, rhetorical effect, suspense, or character development.


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