Romeo and Juliet Dramatic Terms

Act One of the major divisions of a play or opera
Allusion A reference in one work of literature to a person, place or event in another work of literature or in history, art or music
Anachronism One that is out of its proper or chronological order, especially a person or practice that belongs in a earlier time
Anagnorisis Recognition or discovery on part of a tragic hero; the change from ignorance to knowledge
Analogy An extended comparison showing the similiarties between two things
Aside Words spoken by a character in play, usually in an undertone and not intended
Catharsis Purging of emotions that leaves the viewer both relieved and elated
Characterization The personality a character displays; also by which the author reveals that personality
Comic Relief A humorous or farcical (absurd) interlude in a serious literary work or drama, especially a tragedy intended to relieve the dramatic tension
Concealment When a character appears on stage but the other characters are unaware of his or her stage presence
Conflict A struggle between two opposing forces (internal or external)
Couplet Two consecutive lines of poetry that rhyme
Drama A prose or verse composition, especially one telling a serious story
Dramatic Conventions Techniques used to give the audience more information (concealment, aside, soliloquy)
Foil A character who sets off another character by contrast (the characters are opposite of one another)
Foreshadowing The hints or clues to suggest action that is to come
Hamartia A tragic flaw; error in judgment; character weakness that brings down the tragic hero
Hubris Arrogance; excessive pride
Iambic Meter Unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable (Marked by the symbols È and / )
Imagery Language that appeals to the five senses or creates pictures in one’s mind
Irony Portrays the difference between appearance and reality
Metaphor The comparison of two unlike things (does not use like or as)
Monologue A long, uninterrupted speech presented in front of other characters
Oxymoron A figure of speech that combines apparently contradictory terms
Personification An animal, object, natural force or idea is given a personality and described as a human
Prose Ordinary speech or writing without metrical structure
Prologue An introduction, especially a poem to introduce a play
Pun A humorous use of a word or phrase to suggest more meaning at the same time
Satire Irony, sarcasm or wit used to attack mistakes or stupidity
Scene A subdivision of an act in a dramatic presentation in which the setting is fixed but time continues
Simile A comparison made between two dissimilar things using the words like or as
Sonnet A fourteen line lyric poem, usually written in iambic pentameter that has one of several rhyme schemes
Soliloquy When a character speaks to himself and reveals his or her thoughts without addressing the listener
Tragedy A drama or literary work in which the main character is brought to ruin or suffers extreme sorrow
Tragic Hero A character whose downfall is brought about by an error in judgment

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