Drama Unit (Romeo and Juliet) Lit Terms – Luke Brewer

aside a remark or passage by a character in a play that is intended to be heard by the audience but unheard by the other characters in the playExample: “Shall I hear more, or shall I speak at this?” – Romeo, Act 2, Scene 2, Line 37Explanation: He is asking the audience what he should say to Juliet, and she cannot hear it.
dialogue conversation between two or more characters in a playExample: “What’s in a name that which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” – Juliet, Act 2, Scene 2, Line 43Explanation: He is talking to Juliet.
dramatic irony irony in which facts or events are unknown to a character in the play but known to the reader, audience, or other charactersExample: “For fear of that, I still will stay with thee, And never from this palace of dim night. Depart again. Here, here will I remainWith worms that are thy chamber maids.” – Romeo, Act 5, Scene 3, Line 115-119Explanation: Romeo finds Juliet and thinks she is dead, however she is not dead and soon wakes up and wonders where he is.
foil a character whose qualities contrast another character and thus emphasize the traits of the the other character by contrast.Example: “If love be rough with you, be rough with love;Prick love for pricking and you beat love down.” – Mercutio, Act 4, Scene 4, Line 27-28Explanation: Mercutio mocks Romeo’s passionate love with sarcasm and jokes.
monologue a long, uninterrupted speech presented in front of other charactersExample: “In faith I will… Thus with a kiss I die.” – Romeo, Act 5, Scene 3, Line 82-130Explanation: He is talking for a very long time in front of Juliet.
soliloquy a dramatic speech, revealing inner thoughts and feelings, spoken aloud by one character while alone on the stageExample: “What if it be a poison, which the friarSubtly hath ministered to have me dead,Lest in this marriage he should be dishonoredBecause he married me before to Romeo?” – Juliet, Act 4, Scene 3, Line 25-28Explanation: She appears to be asking the audience a question, and no one is around.
stage direction an instruction written into the script of a play, indicating stage actions, movements of performers, or production requirementsExample: “(holds out the vial)” Explanation: This is the stage order for Juliet.
tragedy a drama or literary work in which the main character is brought to ruin or suffers extreme sorrow, especially as a consequence of a tragic flaw, moral weakness, or inability to cope with unfavorable circumstancesExample: “(drinks the poison) O true apothecary,Thy drugs are quick. Thus with a kiss I die.” – Romeo, Act 5, Scene 3, Line 129-131Explanation: Romeo is killing himself because he believes that Juliet, his love, is dead.
tragic flaw the character defect that causes the downfall of the protagonist of a tragedyExample: Explanation:
tragic hero a great or virtuous character in a dramatic tragedy who is destined for downfall, suffering, or defeatExample: “It is too rash, too unadvised, too sudden.” – Juliet, Act 2, Scene 2, Line 118Explanation: This quote, while not spoken by Romeo, is talking about Romeo and his tragic flaw. It foreshadows how his naive actions will play out.

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