The Architecture of Drama: Plot, Character, Theme, Genre and Style

The Architecture of Drama: Plot, Character, Theme, Genre and Style

Joe Stockdale, David Letwin

Language: English

Pages: 208

ISBN: 0810861291

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

The Architecture of Drama: Plot, Character, Theme, Genre and Style

Joe Stockdale, David Letwin

Language: English

Pages: 208

ISBN: 0810861291

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Many of the world's greatest dramas have sprung not only from the creative impulses of the authors but also from the time-honored principles of structure and design that have forged those impulses into coherent and powerful insights. An understanding of these principles is essential to the craft of creating and interpreting works of drama for the stage or screen.

The Architecture of Drama provides an introduction to these principles, with particular emphasis placed on how a drama's structural elements fit together to create meaningful and entertaining experiences for audiences. The book is arranged into five sections, each dealing with a separate component:

·Plot (the selection and arrangement of events in the story)
·Character (the choices and actions taken by the people in the plot)
·Theme (the artist's point of view on the topic addressed)
·Style (the characteristic mode through which the drama expresses itself)
·Genre (the type of story being presented)

Through a range of examples from Oedipus Rex to The Wizard of Oz, the authors examine these structural building blocks both separately and in their interdependent relationship to one another. Along the way they also illustrate how these principles reflect the innate human need for comprehension and order. The Architecture of Drama provides an accessible, straightforward insight for anyone who seeks a deeper understanding of plays and films.

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of Drama provides an introduction to these principles, with particular emphasis on how a drama’s structural elements fit together to create a meaningful and entertaining experience for audiences. The book is arranged into five sections, each deal- ᭿ Plot (the selection and arrangement of events in the story) ᭿ Character (the choices and actions of the people in the plot) ᭿ Theme (the artist’s point of view on the topic addressed) ᭿ Style (the characteristic mode through which the drama

time. It goes backward and forward—as in a dream—and may represent both past and present time in the same scene simultaneously, as in the card-playing scene with Willy and his next-door neighbor Charley in Death of a Salesman. Or present and past time may be shown in films through the use of interlinear cuts via flashback to reveal linkage in cause and effect. It is the freedom from the restraints of sequential time that is the dream form’s great contribution, as it gives a cinematic fluidity to

leading character and her objective.As with all the structural parts of plot, they are as unique, varied, diversified, and endless as Darwin’s species.Without them, there is no story, as nothing would stop the leading character from immediately restoring the balance in life that was interrupted by the incit- PLOT 31 ing incident.There would also be no truth,because if life shows us anything, it’s that for every desire we have,something—overwhelming,insignificant, or somewhere in-between—is

you almost automatically think that theme and subject matter must be of the greatest importance and must be stressed. In other words, you start treating a melodrama as a drama. But essentially, the response you want from an audience at a performance of this play is suspense; you want them to hope against hope that the eight people confined in this Amsterdam attic will somehow survive. It would, perhaps, be more appropriate, considering the Nazi/Jewish topic of this play if it were written as a

some author utterly irrelevant to the plot. Clearly, something else is happening beyond the literal meaning of the words.This disassociation between words and actions, between what people are saying and what is really going on between them, is at the heart of Pinter’s style. If this style is ignored, and the scene were played with the same direct,open,rapid-fire energy of the scene from Macbeth,something very central to the meaning of the Pinter piece would be lost or distorted. Designers’ Style

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