elements of drama. aristotle (384 bc – 322 bc) was a greek philosopher who was a student of...
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Aristotles Elements of Drama
Aristotle (384 BC 322 BC) was a Greek philosopher who was a student of Platos and a teacher to Alexander the Great.
His writings had a significant impact on Medieval thought and his views of physics was accepted up until the discoveries of Isaac Newton.
In his famous work on Tragedy, The Poetics, he argued that one of mans greatest attributes was his ability to Imitate. The PoeticsIt is believed that The Poetics was comprised of two parts one on Comedy and one on Tragedy. Only the part on Tragedy survives.
Aristotle believed that Comedy dealt with characters who were worse than the average person in order to elucidate the Ridiculous in society.
He believed that Tragedy dealt with characters who were better and more noble than the average person. This noble persons fall or ruin would induce in the audience pity and fearthis process is called Catharsis. He uses Sophocles Oedipus Rex to illustrate his points.
Aristotles most profound influence on theatre is his belief that action was the most important aspect of a playeven above character.
He defined 6 Elements of DramaThought/Theme IdeaThe Abstract ideas and feelings that the audience experiences while watching the dramatic action.
What the play means versus what happens.Action/PlotWhat happens opposed to what the play means.
A pattern of events that are all connected by some sense of unity and clarity and which unfold in a sequence of cause and effect.
The process by which the conflict between the characters is established, explored and ultimately resolved.
Plot has several components: Exposition, Inciting Incident (initial entanglement), rising action, climax, falling action, resolution.
CharactersIndividual persons involved in the ploteach should be defined by the established and inferred given circumstances: age, appearance, socio economic level, beliefs, etc
Aristotle emphasized that the characters should always be engaged in actionwhat we would call the pursuit of achieving an objective.
LanguageThe playwright and actors ability to craft a specific and individual voice for each character.
A voice is composed of word choice, style, content, tone, etcMusicThis can be literal musiclike background music (think of your favorite movies score) or in an actual Musical
This can also describe the rhythm of the dialogue. Each play has its own unique tempo and rhythm that can be thought of as music. Youll have a chance to compare several plays this semester to see how this element is used in different, effective and exciting ways.
SpectacleThis is the visual aspect of the play: costumes, set, make-up, lighting, special effects.
This helps create a specific world and atmosphere of the play.