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Genres Drama Study Guide

by: Joyce Fehlau

Genres Drama Study Guide ENGL 2200

Marketplace > Loyola Marymount University > English > ENGL 2200 > Genres Drama Study Guide
Joyce Fehlau
Loyola Marymount University

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Study guide review for examination one. Examine multiple choice on Drama and Theatre & Play Questions, and giving the term to the definitions.
Genres: Drama
Dr. Kelly Younger
Study Guide
drama, Literature
50 ?




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This 11 page Study Guide was uploaded by Joyce Fehlau on Sunday October 2, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to ENGL 2200 at Loyola Marymount University taught by Dr. Kelly Younger in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 5 views. For similar materials see Genres: Drama in English at Loyola Marymount University.

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Date Created: 10/02/16
Genres: Drama -- Study Guide Exam One: 6 October 2016 Terms​: Agon an ancient Greek term used to denote the fundamental conflict in any d​rama. ​Agon also is the term used for a theatrical convention typically associated with ​Old Comedy​ where the chorus is divided into two halves to debate an important idea or political question that relates to the major ​themes​of the play. In aristopha​nes’ ​lysistrata, for example, the chorus is composed of a group of old men and a group of old wom ​ en. The a​ gon in this case provides comic fuel in the battle of the sexes. amphitheater A classical Greek theater usually built into a hillside with a semicircular playing space called an ​ orchestra surrounded by a semicircle of tiered se​ats​. Amphitheater can also refer to a modern theatrical space with a similar design. anagnorisis the moment of recognition, or enlightenment, that is realized when a character discovers the true relation of himself or herself to the incidents in the plot and to the other characters within it. This term was first described by A ​ ristotle in his ​Poetics. antagonist the person or force that opposes the ​protagonist​ or main character in a drama or narrative. The term derives from the Greek, meaning “opponent” or “rival.” apron the area of a stage that stretches out past the primary playing space or ​proscenium​ ​arch​. The apron can be used to cover the orchestra pit in a traditional proscenium theater. aside a theatrical convention (commonly used in drama prior to the nineteenth century but less often af​terwards) in which ac​ haracter​, unnoticed by the other characters on stage, speaks frankly and directly to the audience to express a thought. ​ catharsis (k​ atharis) the emotional release or sense of relief a spectator may feel at th ​ e end of a tragedy. In the ​Poetics, Aristotle posits that the proper aim of tragedy is to arouse feelings of pity and fear and effectively rid t​ e body of these feelings. ​ atharsis is the term he uses to describe this purging of emotions. character a player or personality integral to the telling of a story. In drama, actors must demonstrate character ​ ​ through​ mimesiso ​ r imitation rather than narration. (​See stock character​.) choregos in fifth-century Greek theater practice, the producer appointed to a playwright by an ​archon (government leader) who underwrote the cost of training and costuming the chorus and musicians. chorus in Greek drama, a group of singers and dancers who often provide exposition and commentary on the action in the play. City Dionysia One of the four civic festivals held in ancient Greece each year in honor of the god ​Dionysus​ that are chiefly associated with the presentation of theatrical work. In the fifth century b.c.e., the festival incorporated tragedies, satyr plays, dithyrambic contests, choruses, and later in the century, comedies. Playwrights competed in the City Dionysia for prestige and prizes awarded by the state. comedy ​ from the Greek word k ​ omos meaning “band of revelers,” comedy is a form of drama that is distinguished by humorous content and endings that are, on balance, “happy” ones. The first comic performances were entertainments associated with Greek fertility rights that later took the form of ​satyr plays​. Traditional comedic structure and form can be attributed to the work of aristophanes,who incorporated bawdy jokes and songs into far-fetched scenarios with fantastical or farcical situations. The conventions of comedy vary from place to place and from one era to another, depending on the sense of humor or sensibility of the age in which it is written. Some comedies rely heavily on sharp, ​ witty dialogue (sheridan’s​ school for scandal, for example), others on bodily humor and physical ​ clowning (a ​ tellan farceo​ r ​ ommedia dell’arte), and still others on a blending of these conventions (shakespeare’s comedies). No matter what theatrical conventions they employ, most comedies attempt to highlight absurdities of their society’s norms and values. commedia dell’arte literally “comedy of professional players” (Italian). A genre of Italian theater that emerged at the end of the sixteenth century. Performance relied on the portrayal of ​stock characters​—some of which were derived from Roman comic types—and the improvisation of action and dialogue from a basic plot ​ outline. There are two categories of ​commediacharacters: unmasked and masked. The unmasked roles ​ include the young lovers (the young man described as the​innamorato and the young woman described ​ as the i​ nnamorata). The many masked roles can usually be divided into masters and servants. The ​ masters include: the C ​ apitano, a braggart soldier whose romantic and military exploits are often ​ discredited, P ​ antalone, a mi​ddle-aged or elderly merchant fond of courting young women, and ​Dottore, a pedantic show-off who often played Pantalone’s friend or rival. The servant characters are typically ​ ​ ​ descr​ibed as ​zanni. T​he most popular include: ​Arlecchino or H ​ arlequin, B ​ righella, and P cuckold term used to characterize a married man whose wife has been unfaithful to him. A cuckold is often portrayed as wearing horns as an attribute of his condition. decorum the proper way that characters should act onstage as dictated by their disposition and social standing. This concept was central to ​neoclassicism​, which flourished in continental Europe in the late-sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. dénouement in a play, the point in which the loose ends of a plot are tied up, though the dramatic conflict may not be entirely resolved. deus ex machina ​ literally, “a god emerging from a machine” (Latin). The ​mechane or crane used for special effects in fifth-century Greek performance would suspend an actor in midair and propel him over the playing space. Dramatists, especially euripides, often utilized the device to introduce a god who would appear ​ at the end of the play and resolve the plot. In ​the bacchae, Dionysus emerges in the final moments to punish those who do not recognize his divinity. The term is used in contemporary criticism to describe a quick and contrived resolution to a play. Dionysus god of wine, revelry, and fertility; son of Zeus, supreme god of ancient Greece, and Semele, a mortal woman. The origins of Greek drama are attributed to the celebrations in his honor at civic festivals called the c​ ity Dionysia​. dithyramb a choral ode performed in honor of the god Dionysus, composed of an improvised story by a ​ ​ koryphaios (chorus leader) and a traditional refrain sung and danced by a chorus. In the ​Poetics, Aristotle suggests that ​tragedy​ emerged from the dithyramb. Arion of Lesbos (about 620 b.c.e.), often referred to as the father of dithyrambic poetry, is credited for transforming the art into a literary form and is considered the first to keep a written record of his work. ekkyklema a rolling platform used in Greek performance to reveal the body of a character killed offstage. Elizabethan drama a work or body of works written in England during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I (r. 1558–1603). Elizabethan plays often embody a sense of optimism and prosperity as England asserted itself as a European power. shakespeare wrote many of his plays during this period, which is why the Elizabethan age—and the age of her successor, James I (r. 1603–25), often referred to as the “Jacobean period”—is considered one of the greatest ages of dramatic innovation. epilogue a concluding address by an actor or group of actors that is directed toward the audience; also an additional scene, following the resolution of a play, intended to comment on the preceding events and offer a final perspective by the author or actors. falling action the portion of a play’s structure, usually at or near the end, in which the complications of the ​rising action​ are untangled. farce a genre of fast-paced comedy characterized by rapid stage action, a series of misunderstandings, ludicrous characterizations, and physical humor. Farcical techniques were employed by Greek and ​ Roman playwrights such as aristophanes and plautus, though the term ​farce itself was not used until the middle ages, when it came to refer to comic scenes inserted in church plays. The genre of farce flourished in medieval and Renaissance Europe, most notably in the comic improvisations of the ​ commedia dell’arte. One of the most famous later writers of farce is the French playwright, Georges Feydeau (1862–1921). flat characters characters in a play, often but not always minor characters, who are relatively simple; who are presented as having few, though sometimes dominant, traits; and who thus do not change much in the ​ course of a play. (S foil originally, a layer of polished metal placed beneath a gem to accentuate its brilliance; when applied to ​ drama, a character whose qualities or traits highlight those of another. In shakespeare’s​ hamlet, for instance, Laertes serves as a foil to Hamlet because both are put in the position of avenging a murdered father. folio a form of publication to create books of the largest format, comprised of large sheets of paper folded in ​ half to create two leaves (​folio is Latin for “leaves”), or four pages. shakespeare’s works were ​ published posthumously in 1623 in an edition now known as the First Folio. (​See quarto​.) groundlings an expression used during the English Elizabethan age to describe theater audience members who paid a penny to stand around the three sides of the stage in the area called the "yard." hamartia the Greek term used by Aristotle to describe a character's intellectual error or mistaken assumption that prompts the tragic outcome of his or her actions. Often described as the "tragic flaw" or self-destructive force that triggers the downfall of a socially elevated figure. hubris the tragic flaw of pride or arrogance that can lead a hero to disregard accepted moral codes or warnings from the gods, prompting his or her own downfall. hypokrites the Greek word for actor; literally, "the answerer." komos literally, "band of revelers" (Greek), the final song or procession in a Greek ​Old Comedy​. koryphaios in Ancient Greece, the chorus leader who sang and danced an improvised story or hymn known as the ​ dithyramb.​ In Greek tragedy, the ​koryphaios served as the leader of the chorus but could also actively engage with the other actors on stage. mechane the crane used for special effects in fifth-century Greek performance that could lift actors in the air and propel them over the playing space. The device was commonly used in depicting the gods but it was also employed to simulate the flight of both animals and chariots. mimesis ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ 16. What took place in the amphitheater’s orchestra? ​Dancing. 17. Katharsis is best defined as ​fear and pity inspired in the audience by the hero’s wrongdoings and his display of extreme emotions. 18. Sophocles and Aeschylus introduced a third actor to their plays because ​this expanded the playwright’s options for complexity of plot and dialogue. 19. The deus ex machina refers to the ​God who appears to pass judgment upon the guilty and resolve the conflict & mechanical cranes used to hoist performers​ in a play. 20. Comedies focus on ​political and historical events​, while tragedies emphasize mythological and heroic events. English Theatre, 1576-1642 1. Who collaborated with and introduced Italian stage elements to Ben Jonson’s masques? ​Inigo Jones 2. What was the first English tragedy? ​Norton and Sackville’s ​Gorboduc 3. What did Stuart masques celebrate? ​Monarchical authority 4. Which of the following was NOT true of private theatres? ​They were illuminated by natural light. 5. Who closed theaters as a result of the English Civil Wars? ​The Protestant Parliament 6. Who provided costume pieces for actors of the period? ​The nobility 7. Which of the following contributed to the darkening of tone in the plays of the seventeenth century?​ the death of Queen Elizabeth 8. How were plays published until 1616? ​In cheap quarto editions 9. What replaced the Globe Theatre when it was demolished in 1644? ​Tenement housing 10. The ​Admiral’s Men ​produced Marlowe’s plays, while the ​Lord Chamberlain’s Men ​produced Shakespeare’s plays. 11. Who granted licenses for plays, and could censor, arrest, imprison, and even torture playwrights for controversial material? ​The Master of Revels 12. Groundlings ​were viewers who paid a penny for admission and stood in the yard surrounding the stage. 13. Since theater was banned in London, private theaters were built on ​liberties​ outside of municipal control. 14. How was setting established on a stage? ​Through verbal descriptions French Theatre, 1630-1700 1. Why did French theater develop later than other national theaters? ​religious wars between Catholics and Protestants 2. What purpose did the amphithéâtre serve in the French theater? ​It provided sloped boxes for better stage visibility. 3. Tartuffe was written by ​Molière​ and its story criticizes ​religious hypocrisy​. 4. Which of the following is NOT representative of neoclassical theater? ​Corneille’s ​Le Cid 5. Why did theater decline in Paris after 1682? ​Louis XIV moved his court to the Palace of Versailles, and took noble patrons with him. 6. Theater in France evolved as a result of ​A, B, & C: patronage by authorities including Richelieu, the establishment of a national theater, subsidies for theater companies. 7. How did the Confrérie use the Hôtel de Bourgogne to monopolize theater? ​They charged a fee for companies to rent and perform there. 8. Lully led the most successful theatrical company of its time, the ​Comédie-Française ​ ​


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