THEA 1314 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Subplot, Dramatic Structure

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22 Feb 2020
How Plays Work
Foundations of Theatre
o Student of Plato
o Wrote Poetics
o Six elements of drama
Aristotle's Six Elements of Drama (ranked from most to least important)
1. Plot
Structure or arrangement of events
Plot is the structure of the "story", but "plot" is not the same as "story"
Main plot = main character(s)
Subplot = other characters
Aristotle believed that the plot should be credible and astonishing
2. Character
Agents of the plot
Aristotle believed that the main character should be consistent and moral and of high status
3. Thought
Moral of the story
4. Diction
Language used in the writing
Should explain plot
o Reflect character
o Convey theme
5. Rhythm
The "music"
Refers to sounds of the play
o Pacing
o Songs
o Dance
Creates mood
6. Spectacle
Something striking or impressive
The coolness in the 5 C's of Theatre Appreciation
Climactic structure (Freytag's Triangle)
Set up - exposition : who, what where
Inciting incident - first conflict setting off action, protagonist pursues goal as a result
Rising action - series of complications
Climax - highest point in action where protagonist also changes personally
Falling action - events leading to resolution
Resolution - denouement : the aftermath
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