Drama + Hamlet Test

Play the work of drama performed on a stage, written to be seen and performed, not read
Stage Directions the italicized descriptions of the set, characters, actions
Drama a play as literature, the work written down; places a greater demand on a reader’s imagination than fiction, we construct our ideas of a character and their personality based on what they say
Exposition the explanation of the past and current situation; emerges through the dialogue; the opening portion of a narrative; sets scene; introduces the protagonist and any other background information
Comedy aimed at amusing an audience; where the protagonist faces an obstacle/complications that threaten disaster but are overturned at the last moment to produce a happy endingHigh and Low Comedy
High Comedy evokes laughter by depicting folly, pretense, and hypocrisy of human behavior; addresses audience’s intelligence through an elevated style that relies on verbal with and wordplay for humorEx: Hamlet messing with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, confronting them and comparing them to playing the flute
Low Comedy arouses laughter through jokes, slapstick antics, visual gags, boisterous clowning, vulgar humor, innuendo; relies on physical action for humorEx: the dirty jokes Hamlet makes around Ophelia and in the presence of Polonuis, Claudius, and Gertrude
Comic Relief a humorous episode/ scene/ character/ incident designed to ease tension; humor in the midst of a serious action that introduces a sharp contrast to the moodEx: the way Osiric talks when he comes to inform Hamlet of the bet and the duel
Tragedy portrays a serious conflict between human beings and some superior overwhelming force; ends sorrowfully and disastrously in an outcome that seems inevitable
Revenge Tragedy well established type of drama that consists of a murder that must be avenged by a relative of the victim Follows the pattern: the ghost calls for vengeance, the avenger pretends to go insane, the avenger dies despite goodness/ skill/ just causeEx: “Hamlet” is a revenge tragedy
Tragic Flaw a fatal flaw of a character, an error in judgement, or a weakness in the protagonist that leads to their downfall(greed, pride, ambition, ect.)Ex: Hamlet’s tragic flaw is his inability to act because he overthinks everything
Hubris too much of something; overreaching pride and ambition, insolence, any extreme overconfidence or blind overreaching (opposite of moderation)Ex: Claudius displays hubris
Soliloquy (theatrical convention) a speech made by a character that is alone on stage (or thinks they’re alone) in which he/she utters their thoughts aloudEx: Hamlet’s “To Be or Not To Be”
Aside (theatrical convention) a speech made by a character directed to the audience onlyEx: Polonius talking to himself about how there is a method to Hamlet’s madness
Epiphany (theatrical convention) a sudden revelation of truth often inspired by a seemingly simple/ commonplace eventEx: Hamlet and one of Fortinbras’s soldiers talk about the invasion of Poland and he realized that they were fighting a pointless battle but had the means to win
Plot an author’s artistic arrangement of incidents or actions in a story; answers: What happened?
Subplot a second story plotline that is compelte and interesting in its own right, often doubles/ inverts the main plotEx: the battle between Fortinbras and Poland
Foil a character in a work whose behavior serves to contrast with that of another in order to highlight that temperamentEx: Hamlet and Laertes are foils of each other; Hamlet is a thinker and Laertes is a doer in regards to avenging their fathers
Irony a situation or statement characterized by a significant difference between what is expected/ understood and what actually happens or is meantTragic/ Dramatic IronySituational Irony Verbal IronyCosmic Irony
Tragic/ Dramatic Irony when there is a gap between what an audience knows and what a character believes or expectsEx: the audience knows the cup is poisoned but Gertrude does not
Situational Irony when a character has an expectation that is reversed or fulfilled in an unexpected wayEx: Hamlet expects to win the bet and kill Claudius but is poisoned and dies too
Verbal Irony occurs when a word or expression in context means something different from and usually opposite of what it appears to mean; becomes sarcasmEx: “a little more than kin, and less than kind”Hamlet is saying that he is more than Claudius’s nephew, but also his son but they are not the sameHamlet becomes more sarcastic in his speech when he begins to act mad in the front of the rest of the court
Cosmic Irony sometimes used to refer to the situation in which situational irony is a result of fate, chance, the gods, or some other superhuman force or entity Ex: Hamlet believes he was destined to kill Claudius and avenge his father
Unrhymed Iambic Pentameter also known as blank verse; the poetic form closest to human speech, follows the rhythm of the heartbeat; formal way to speak for the higher noble class
Iambic Foot one unstressed and one stressed syllable, a pentameter is five feetEx: a WAY
Prose common, modern language, normal talking; usually spoken by lower class like the gravediggers, Hamlet does speak in prose occasionally when pretending to be mad
Diction word choice, helps determine tone
External Conflict a character against something outside self; man vs man, nature, society, ectEx: Hamlet vs Laertes in duelBetween Hamlet and Claudius trying to kill one another
Internal Conflict man vs self; 2 drives, impulses, or parts of a single characterEx: Hamlet conflicted about going on with life or killing himself
Protagonist the main/ central character; initiates the main action of a storyEx: Hamlet
Antagonist a character/ force that opposes the protagonist; often gives rise to the conflictEx: Claudius trying to kill Hamlet to secure his crownPolonius trying to frame Hamlet for proclaiming love for Ophelia in order to gain wealth
Foreshadowing indicates/ hints of events to comeEx: the ghost tells Hamlet to kill Claudius
Flashback a scene relived in a character’s memory, narrates events that happened before the beginning of the storyEx: the ghost recalling how he died
In Media Res “in the middle of things” in Latin; beginning a plot midway through the action before explaining the context or preceding actions through exposition or flashbackEx: the play begins after Hamlet Sr.’s death but is later explained through exposition, what happened and how
Roles in Hamlet men played all characters because it was seen as impure for women to perform
The Globe Theater octagonal/round building with an open ceiling and several levels; plays only performed during the day due to lighting; simple backgrounds and elaborate costumes donated by aristocrats
Stage extends to the audience and allows them to be a part of the play; changes the way actors act
Aristocratic Seats balcony seats, porch-like, covered, high-price gallery seating
Nobility Seats nobility and royalty did not attend theater, instead, acting troupes came to them to perform in the court
Groundlings open air, standing room, meant for the lower class, right in front of the stage, cost 1 penny
One Day’s Wage one penny; actors needed to impress groundlings because they spent a penny to attend and if they didn’t like their performance, they would throw rotten fruit
Trapdoors hell
Balconies heaven
Audience often viewed as another character in the play, directly responds throughout the play; plays written to keep audience’s attention and keep them coming back
Something for Everyone action (sword fights, sexual puns, violence) for the lower class, philosophy and poetry for the educated upper class
Setting the context in which the action occurs; Ex: Denmark, Castle Elsinore
Thinkers Pros: wiser, plan of action, not hasty, evaluate, strategyCons: procrastinate, overthink, distress selves, wait too long
Doers Pros: get it done and fast, first to act, plan as go, lasting impression, leadershipCons: don’t think, can’t see strategy, vulnerable and oblivious to fall into a trap, easily manipulated

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