Entertainment / Literature / Drama: A composition in prose or verse presenting, in pantomime and dialogue, a narrative involving conflict between a character or characters and some external or internal force (see conflict). Playwrights usually design dramas for presentation on a stage in front of an audience. Aristotle called drama 'imitated human action.' Drama may have originated in religious ceremonies. Thespis of Attica (sixth century BCE) was the first recorded composer of a tragedy. Tragedies in their earliest stage were performed by a single actor who interacted with the chorus. The playwright Aeschylus added a second actor on the stage (deuteragonist) to allow additional conflict and dialogue. Sophocles and Euripides added a third (tritagonist). Medieval drama may have evolved independently from rites commemorating the birth and death of Christ. During the late medieval period and the early Renaissance, drama gradually altered to the form we know today. The mid-sixteenth century in England in particular was one of the greatest periods of world drama. In traditional Greek drama, as defined by Aristotle, a play was to consist of five acts and follow the three dramatic unities. In more recent drama (i.e., during the last two centuries), plays have frequently consisted of three acts, and playwrights have felt more comfortable disregarding the confines of Aristotelian rules involving verisimilitude. See also unities, comedy, tragedy, revenge play, miracle play, morality play, and mystery play. An individual work of drama is called a play.

Other Words for Drama

Drama Verb Synonyms: play, stage play, photoplay, screenplay, (stage) show, (theatrical) piece, (stage) production, scenario
Drama Noun Synonyms: dramaturgy, stagecraft, theatre art(s), Thespian or histrionic art(s), acting, theatre, dramatic art

Cavalier Drama

Entertainment / Literature / Cavalier Drama: A form of English drama comprising court plays that the Queen gave patronage to in the 1630s. Most critics have been underimpressed with these plays, given that they are mostly unoriginal and written MORE

Dramatis Personae

Entertainment / Literature / Dramatis Personae: (Latinpeople of the play): A list of the complete cast, i.e., the various characters that will appear in the play. This list usually appears before the text of the main play begins in printed copies o MORE

Dramatic Monologue

Entertainment / Literature / Dramatic Monologue: A poem in which a poetic speaker addresses either the reader or an internal listener at length. It is similar to the soliloquy in theater, in that both a dramatic monologue and a soliloquy often invol MORE