WHAT ARE DRAMATIC CONVENTIONS?

For latest job updates visit https://recruitmentportalngr.com/

Soliloquy

Soliloquy is a speech made by a character when he is alone. The audience hears it but the other characters are not expected to hear it. It is very common in Renaissance plays. Shakespeare in particular made use of soliloquies in his play a lot. Playwrights use this device to reveal the thoughts or the feelings of specific characters in reaction to certain events or situations. “Customarily, the soliloquy is a means of giving expression to a complex state of mind and feeling, and in most cases the speaker is seen struggling with problems of utmost consequence. This accounts for the intensity we find in soliloquys” (Scholes and Klaus 29).

Here, the character thinks aloud as he talks to himself. He pretends that the audience is not there. Soliloquy also offers the dramatist a means of providing a point of view on the action of the play. Apart from serving as a means for revealing characters, it is used to make significant commentaries on events of the play. In the first soliloquy in Hamlet, Hamlet presents the state of his mind and his view on the world:

O that this too solid flesh would melt,

Thaw and resolve itself into a dew,

Or that the Everlasting had not fixed

His canon against self-slaughter. O God! God!

How weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable

Seem to me all the uses of this world!

 

From it we learn of his father’s death, the incestuous affair between his mother and his uncle and it foreshadows the catastrophe at the end of the play when he predicts that the affair will come to no good. He continues:

But two months dead- nay, not so much, not two-

So excellent a king, that was to this

Hyperion to a satyr; so loving to my mother

That he might not permit the winds of heaven

Visit her face too roughly. Heaven and earth,

Must I remember? Why, she would hang him

As if increase of appetite had grown

By what it fed on. And yet within a month-

Let me not think on it- Frailty, your name is woman-

A little month, before those shoes were old

With which he followed my poor fathers’s body,

Like Niobe, all tears- why, she-

O God, a beast that wants discourse of reason

Would have mourned longer- married with my uncle,…

She married- O most wicked speed! To post

With such dexterity to incestuous sheets!

It is not, and it cannot come to good

Break my heart, for I must hold my tongue.

(Act i scene ii)

 

Aside

Aside is a dramatic convention in which a character speaks to himself or makes a comment in the presence of another character. However, that other character is not expected to hear the comment but the audience hears it. There is an actual stepping aside of the character who utters an aside from the other characters on the stage. This makes it more unrealistic because it is not possible for him to make the remark in their presence and they will not hear it. An aside is a very brief remark and in most cases it is indicated in the stage direction. Here is an example taken from Hamlet when Hamlet feigns madness and is discussing with Polonius:

POL. [Aside] Though this is madness, yet there is method in it. Will you walk out of the air my lord?

Dramatic Illusion

Drama thrives on illusion because what is presented is not reality but an illusion of reality. Whenever you are watching any dramatic presentation, you know very well that they are ‘pretending’ to be what they are not yet you empathize with the characters. Dramatic illusion involves a willing suspension of disbelief. If the play Hamlet is presented on stage or if you buy the film, as you watch the graveyard scene, Ophelia’s burial, for instance, you would see the actress being ‘buried’. In reality, the actress’ name may not be Ophelia; she has not died; the grave is not a real grave; and the grave diggers may be wealthy professionals but you enjoy the play without bothering about whether they are real or not. In other words, you pretend that what you are watching is real.

The Fourth Wall

The fourth wall refers to the fourth wall of the room that is pulled down for the audience to watch the play. In reality, a room has four walls so if a play, especially events of the play stage performances, is to be presented with the four walls intact nobody can see the action. That is why a good playwright should always have the stage in mind when he is writing his play. The removal of the fourth wall helps to enhance the illusion of reality in drama.

Chorus /Narrator

The use of chorus is a dramatic convention that was adopted by playwrights, especially in the  Classical Age, to comment on the events of the play. In any play that has a chorus/narrator, the playwright uses it to supply the information that could not be woven into the dialogue. In many cases it serves as the authorial voice. The chorus is not usually part of the main cast so does not participate actively in the action of the play. In most cases they stand or sit by the side of the stage and make their comments at the appropriate time. Some playwrights use the chorus to comment on the events of the play. In Oedipus Rex, the chorus is made up of the elders of Thebes. The narrator performs the same function as the chorus. The difference is that usually the chorus is made up of two or more characters while the narrator is only one character. Each playwright uses the chorus or the narrator to suit his purpose.

Structure

The dramatic structure, especially in written a play, is a dramatic convention on the organization of the play. Most classical plays are presented in acts and scenes. The plays are divided in this way for easy presentation and understanding. In a stage performance, a curtain is drawn to signify the end of each scene or act. In the modern stage, and  in night productions, light is used to demarcate them. Each scene represents a particular setting. This is to give the actors time to change their costumes. It also gives the stage directors time to change the setting or scene for the next part of the action.  During this interval, music or interludes could be used to fill the gap.

The Three Unities

Classical plays are expected to treat one serious action but later in the sixteenth centuries, dramatic critics in Italy and France added to Aristotle’s recommendation of unity of action, two other unites to constitute the rules of drama known as “the three unites.” It became a dramatic convention then. They contended that for the dramatist to achieve an illusion of reality, the action presented in a play should “approximate” the actual conditions of life being represented in the play.  They imposed the “unity of place” (that the action be limited to a single location) and the “unity of time” (that the time represented should be limited to the two or three hours it takes to act the play, or at most to a single day of either twelve or twenty-four hours).

Their decision may  have been influenced by Shakespearean platys that involved frequent changes of setting and the passage of many years. In the modern period it is no longer a convention but a playwright might still wish to adhere to it. The three unities are the unities of time place and action. It means the principles of dramatic structure that involves action, time and place. The principle of the unity of action entails that the action of the play should contain one subject. There is no room for sub – themes or sub- plots. The unity of place requires that the action of the play must take place in one location. The unity of time insists that the play should not last for more than one day.

We have to emphasize here that you are not expected to find all the devices in one play. A playwright decides what to use and how to use them. It is difficult to find all the conventions in one play. As a matter of fact, modern playwrights have jettisoned soliloquy and aside. They argue that since drama presents life as it is lived, people do not talk to themselves. It makes drama artificial and unrealistic. In this article, you have been exposed to various dramatic conventions. It is expected that this  knowledge will help you to understand this course more, especially, as you read the recommended plays.

 

Download all job past questions & answers here to get ahead of others in getting that your dream job – Download here now!

52 Comments

  1. Heya i am for the primary time here. I found this board and I to find It truly helpful & it helped me out much. I’m hoping to offer something again and aid others such as you aided me.

  2. Appreciating the persistence you put into your site and detailed information you present. It’s great to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same out of date rehashed information. Fantastic read! I’ve saved your site and I’m including your RSS feeds to my Google account.

  3. It is perfect time to make some plans for the longer term and it is time to be happy. I have learn this submit and if I could I want to suggest you few attention-grabbing things or tips. Maybe you could write subsequent articles referring to this article. I want to read even more issues about it!

  4. This is really fascinating, You are a very skilled blogger. I’ve joined your rss feed and look ahead to in quest of more of your great post. Also, I’ve shared your website in my social networks!

  5. Sweet blog! I found it while searching on Yahoo News. Do you have any suggestions on how to get listed in Yahoo News? I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there! Cheers

  6. I’m not sure why but this web site is loading extremely slow for me. Is anyone else having this issue or is it a problem on my end? I’ll check back later on and see if the problem still exists.

  7. This is the right web site for anyone who wishes to find out about this
    topic. You realize a whole lot its almost hard to argue with you (not
    that I actually would want to…HaHa). You certainly
    put a brand new spin on a subject that has been discussed for decades.
    Wonderful stuff, just wonderful!

  8. Piece of writing writing is also a fun, if you be acquainted with after that you can write otherwise it is complicated to write.

  9. Howdy! This post couldn’t be written any better!
    Looking at this post reminds me of my previous roommate! He constantly kept preaching about this.
    I most certainly will send this post to him. Pretty sure he will
    have a good read. Many thanks for sharing!

  10. I’m not sure why but this web site is loading extremely
    slow for me. Is anyone else having this problem or is it a issue on my end?
    I’ll check back later on and see if the problem still exists.

  11. I have been browsing online more than three hours today, yet I
    never found any interesting article like yours. It’s pretty worth enough for
    me. In my opinion, if all site owners and bloggers made good content as you
    did, the net will be a lot more useful than ever before.

  12. I do not know if it’s just me or if perhaps everybody
    else experiencing problems with your site. It appears as though some of
    the text within your content are running off the screen. Can somebody else please comment
    and let me know if this is happening to them as well? This
    could be a issue with my internet browser because I’ve had this happen before.
    Appreciate it

  13. Its like you read my mind! You seem to know a lot about this, like you wrote
    the book in it or something. I think that you can do with a few pics
    to drive the message home a bit, but instead of that, this is great blog.
    A fantastic read. I will certainly be back.

  14. I believe everything posted made a lot of sense.
    But, what about this? what if you composed a catchier post
    title? I mean, I don’t wish to tell you how to run your
    blog, however suppose you added a post title to possibly get a person’s attention? I mean WHAT ARE DRAMATIC CONVENTIONS?

    – Recruitment Portal is a little plain. You ought to look at Yahoo’s home page and note how they create post titles to grab people interested.

    You might try adding a video or a related pic or two to grab people excited about everything’ve written. In my opinion, it could make your posts a little bit
    more interesting.

  15. Hi there! Quick question that’s completely
    off topic. Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly?
    My site looks weird when viewing from my iphone. I’m trying
    to find a template or plugin that might be able to correct this
    issue. If you have any recommendations, please share.
    Thanks!

  16. Hi there, I do think your website could be having browser
    compatibility problems. Whenever I take a look at your
    web site in Safari, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some
    overlapping issues. I simply wanted to provide you with a quick heads up!
    Apart from that, great website!

  17. *LAVITA RICCA INVESTMENT PROGRAM*
    ♦️♦️♦️♦️♦️♦️
    ♦️♦️♦️♦️♦️♦️
    *NO MORE EXCUSES*

    1. I don’t have money
    2. I can’t talk to people
    3. I don’t do stuff like this
    4. I’m too Busy

    Your excuses may be legit but they won’t improve your Life.

    • *LAVITA RICCA INVESTMENT PROGRAM is Fully Registered with CAC. WHICH IS COOPERATE AFFAIR COMMISSION( For those Who Think LAVITA RICCA INVESTMENT is Not Registered)*

    *LAVITA RICCA INVESTMENT PROGRAM is a platform network that deal with investing of money just within 45mins you will get back your money double*

    CONTACT:- +2349036369810

    *LAVITA RICCA INVESTMENT PROGRAM PACKAGE’S*

    *N20,000====N40,000*

    *N30, 000====N60,000*
    *N50,000====N100,000*

    *N100,000====N200,000*

    *N200,000 ====N400,000*

    *N400,000====N800,000*

    *==============*

    *I know you are skeptical about this because of the negative experience a lot of issues as regards scamming in the global world. I assure you 101% that you won’t lose your money this is because I know the risk of this profit oriented business and I know how to avoid them using my trading skills and signals to make only wins and no losses.*

    *Are u a worker?*

    ♊ *Are u a student looking for your school fees? Are u a woman looking for money to pay your children school fees?*

    ♊ *Are u jobless and u need where u can make source of income?*

    ♊ *LAVITA RICCA INVESTMENT PROGRAM is here for you! With a little amount u can earn and make more more source of income without any problems*

    ♊ *LAVITA RICCA INVESTMENT PROGRAM is a platform network that deal with investing of money just within 45mins you will get back your money double*
    *Thank you for your time you can click on the link below to get started, please only serious minded People are expected to message the administrator.*

    CONTACT NAME Mrs. ELIZABETH TINA
    CONTACT:- 09036369810…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*