Romeo and Juliet Dramatic Terms

Act A section of the play. Shakespeare’s plays were put into 5 of these sections.
Scene A small section of a play. Acts were divided into scenes.
Aside Short comment by a character heard by the audience but not the other characters. Expresses true thoughts. Done by whispering or uttering under one’s breath.
Monologue A long speech given by a character.
Dialogue Speech between two or more characters
Soliloquy A long speech delivered usually when character is alone. The character reveal true emotions and thoughts.
Dramatic Irony When the audience knows something the characters on the stage do not.
Verbal Irony Words used to suggest the opposite of what is meant.
Situational Irony An event that occurs that directly contradicts the expectations of the characters, reader, or audience.
Double entendre a word or expression capable of two interpretations, with one that is usually risqué (Slightly indecent or liable to shock, esp. by being sexually suggestive.)
Pun The humorous use of a word or a phrase so as to emphasize or suggest its different meanings or applications. Or use of words that are alike or nearly alike in sound but different in meaning.
Flat character a character that represents a single trait (or a very few traits). The behavior is usually predictable. (Benvolio, Tybalt, Prince, Lady Capulet)
Round character a character that has many traits, some of which may be contradictory. This kind of character is like a real person, and may behave in unpredictable ways. Most main characters are this type of character. (Romeo, Juliet, Capulet, Friar Lawrence, Nurse)
Comic relief a humorous scene or speech in a serious drama which is meant to provide relief from emotional intensity and, by contrast heighten the seriousness of the story
Foreshadowing Event or dialogue that plants hints about what will happen later in the story
Medias Res A term describing how actions on the stage begin “in the middle”
Tragedy a serious drama typically describing a conflict between the protagonist and a superior force and having a sorrowful ending.
Pathos A quality of a play’s action that stimulates the audience to feel pity for a character. This is always an aspect of tragedy, and is occasionally present in comedy.
Catharsis A release of emotions that the audience experiences during a tragedy.
Foil A character that contrasts with another character, and so highlights various facets of the main character’s personality.
Conceit an extended, exaggerated comparison or metaphor between two unlike things.
Allusion an implied or direct reference to history or literature.

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