Structure of Drama Dramatic structure is the plot structure of a dramatic work such as a play or screenplay. Many scholars have analyzed dramatic structure, beginning with Aristotle in his Poetics. This article focuses primarily on Gustav Freytag's analysis of ancient Greek and Shakespearean drama. According to Freytag, a drama is divided into five parts, or acts: * exposition * rising action * climax (or turning point) * falling action * resolution (dénouement (comedy) or catastrophe (tragedy)) A visual aid for Freytag’s analysis of dramatic structure is Freytag’s Pyramid, also known as a plot mountain. • Exposition (plot device) The exposition provides the background information needed to properly understand the story, such as the protagonist, the antagonist, the basic conflict, and the setting. The exposition ends with the inciting moment, which is the incident that without there would be no story. The inciting moment sets the remainder of the story in motion beginning with the second act, the rising action. The exposition often relates to the dénouement. • Rising action During rising action, the basic conflict is complicated by the introduction of related secondary conflicts, including various obstacles that frustrate the protagonist’s attempt to reach their goal. Secondary conflicts can include adversaries of lesser importance than the story’s antagonist, who may work with the antagonist or separately, by and for themselves. • Climax (turning point) The third act is that of the climax, or turning point, which marks a change, for the better or the worse, in the protagonist’s affairs. If the story is a comedy, things will have gone badly for the protagonist up to this point; now, the tide, so to speak, will turn, and things will begin to go well for him or her. If the story is a tragedy, the opposite state of affairs will ensue, with things going from good to bad for the protagonist. • Falling action During the falling action, the conflict between the protagonist and the antagonist unravels, with the protagonist winning or losing against the antagonist. The falling action might contain a moment of final suspense, during which the final outcome of the conflict is in doubt. • Resolution The comedy ends with a dénouement (a conclusion) in which the protagonist is better off than at the story’s outset. The tragedy ends with a catastrophe in which the protagonist is worse off than at the beginning of the narrative. Although Freytag’s analysis of dramatic structure is based on five-act plays, it can be applied (sometimes in a modified manner) to short stories and novels as well. To be a great actor one must be a detective, one must always question why do I do what I do. • Super objective- Characters ultimate wants. • Obstacles- What is in your way? • Tactics- How you will achieve your objective? A great actor must also be in the moment to allow the other character to affect them. It is like a partner dance. Both must be in intimate communicate, be sensitive to each breath, movement, etc for it to be effortless. Beats are extremely important. They can mean a change in blocking and emotional movement. Beat: • A change in a tactic. • Another character enters/exits. • A characters changes an idea.
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