Elements Of Drama
Dialogue and action form the twin pillars of
drama. The two pillars assist in the portrayal of
intense struggle and conflict wherein the true
essence and power of a drama lies.
NOTES ON DIALOGUE & ACTION
& DRAMA & OTHER FORMS
Prepared by Tannishtha 04d01010
It is conversation between characters; with little
comment made directly by author.
Can be read (often in verse-form) or seen (stage
Dialogue is the one of the distinguishing features of
drama, but all dialogue is not drama.
Types of dialogue-
Mere presentation of facts sans development of the
characters or plot. Eg: a court room trial
2) Development of characters via dialogue but no plot
(conversation goes from subject to subject via
association rather than logic, which would be essential
for advancing action) Eg: W.S. Languor's “conversation”
It comprises of more than mere physical action;
without reference to character it is relatively
Subtle gestures usually lost on audience as they
aren’t so noticeable, a hurdle overcome by close
ups in case of cinema.
It is argued that cinema is primarily a visual art,
though legitimate drama is primarily auditory-
costumes, setting, acting are all secondary to
the spoken word-dialogue.
So what is drama?
To summarize, in drama dialogue must- be
accompanied by action; illustrate and
develop characters, from various points of
view even; concern the past, present and
set ground for further action, ie be
progressive with tensions of active conflict
Drama and other literary forms
Drama is a highly specialized form of
literature which can do some things
supremely well but must handle matters
its own ways. The merits and demerits are
discussed as follows.
Fiction versus Drama
Little action, mostly consists of peoples’ reaction to
certain events/ or too much action accompanied by too
little matter- both difficult to convert to drama as it is
less effective/ too cumbersome. Drama usually works to
greater success when characters participate in a
situation rather than just viewing it.
Fiction has greater choice of characters, inanimate ones
even, like in the example, the letter.
It can provide insight into the minds of characters
through omniscient narrator (the author).
Poetry versus Drama
Very often, drama is in the form of verse.
However a poem and drama can differ in
the manner it treats the theme.
Poetry is usually more intellectual,
concerned more with meaning than with
feeling, interpretations on a higher plane.
Fiction, poetry, drama all three differ from
other writings such as history, biography,
philosophy because of certain common
They all present situations (specific), invite
interpretations (general) using methods of
dialogue, action, setting.
Absence of omniscient narrator hence- no
direct description, no direct comments, no
purely mental/psychological action.
The drawbacks of drama- restriction to
first person dialogue, absence of narrative
etc in fact make it crisper and heighten