What is a Drama?
A drama is a play written to be spoken aloud. Many times, you might find yourself actually reading a play instead of actually watching a performance of it. When you’re reading a play instead of watching it, it’s essential that you use your imagination.
When reading a play instead of watching it, you can’t see characters interact with each other. You have a harder time imagining the setting of the stage, because you’re just reading it. That’s why it’s essential that you use your imagination to fill in any missing gaps. While there are downsides to reading a play instead of watching it, there are some positives. For one, you have freedom of point of view. When you’re reading a drama, you as the reader get to decide what the characters look like, what the setting is like, and what the atmosphere as a whole is like.
When you’re watching a play, the actors decide that for you. You have a freedom of point of view when you’re reading a drama. You also have extra information when you’re reading a drama instead of watching it. Many times, the author of the drama will have side notes. If you’re reading an older play, like a Shakespeare play, there may be things in the footnotes that help tell more about the setting, why this is like that.
Also, for plays that are older and hard to read because of the older English text, there may be footnotes that tell you how to read it in modern English. That can be helpful. If you were watching a play, you wouldn’t have any of that extra information. That’s another positive. The third positive is that you have time to study the drama. Drama passes by very quickly when you’re watching it. When you are reading it, you have time to stop, look up the meaning of words, read some more about the play, or gather any additional information that you think would help you better understand the drama.
Again, when you’re reading a play instead of watching it, make sure you’re using your imagination. Fill in any blanks and remember the positives here. Make sure that you use your freedom of point of view, read the extra info, and do some extra study. There is one point I should make. The most important part of a drama is speech, or dialogue. In many other works of literature, that’s not necessarily the case, but here, the main part of drama is going to be the characters’ interactions with each other. This generally comes through speech.
If you’re analyzing a drama, speech and dialogue is what you’re looking for.