Elements of Drama

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Elements of Drama
The elements of drama mainly includes Thought, Theme, Ideas, Action or Plot, Characters, Language, Music, Spectacle and many others. Drama on stage often reflects the drama of daily life, but it also concentrates on life and holds it up for examination. Readers of the play need to imagine, not just feelings or a flow of action, but how the action and the characters appear in a theatre and on a stage before a live audience. Thus, there are many elements that make up Indian drama. Right from the theme, plot of the play, the costumes, to the dramatic representation to the audience that actually makes the drama a success.

Various Elements of Drama

Themes in Indian Drama

Theme of drama refers to what the play means as opposed to what happens or the plot. It is the main idea or the thought within the play. Sometimes the theme is clearly stated in the title. It may be stated through dialogue by a character acting as the playwright`s voice; or it may be the theme is less obvious and emerges only after some study or thought. The abstract issues and feelings that grow out of the dramatic action comprise the theme of the piece.

Plot in Indian Drama
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The plot of a drama refers to the order of the events that happen in a play. Actually, it refers to what happens rather than what it means. The plot is usually structured with acts and scenes and the action and movement in the play begins from the initial entanglement, through rising action, climax, and falling action to resolution. The interest generated by the plot varies for different kinds of plays. The plot of the drama is shown in the Through-Line of the drama, its beginning, middle and end, although it does not have to be presented in a linear structure. The characters in a play are also part of the plot. The action of the drama consists in the events that the characters take part in, as they act the play. The content of the drama lies in the themes it deals with, example bullying, the responsibilities of power and the bravery of ordinary people.

Audience of Indian Drama

Theatre requires an audience, since live audience also has an important impact on the way plays are created. The physical presence of an audience can change a performance, inspire actors, and create expectations. The presence of live actors on the stage in front of live audiences sets it apart from modern day films and television. Hence, authors calculate for the effect of the audience rather than for the silent response. With this in mind, most plays written deal with topics that are timely.

Dialogues in Indian Drama

Dialogues in Indian Drama refers to the word choices made by the playwright and the enunciation of the actors delivering the lines. Language and dialogues delivered by the characters moves the plot and action along, provides exposition and defines the distinct characters. Thus, in short, the dialogues also provide the substance of a play.

Stagecraft in Indian Drama

The stage creates its effects in spite of, and in part because of, definite physical limitations. Setting and action tend to be suggestive rather than panoramic or colossal. Both setting and action may be little more than hints for the spectator to fill out.

Convention in Indian Drama

Convention in Indian Drama is the starting point of the theatrical performance. This element is considered as the domain of the playwright in theatre. It is the pure process by which the playwright`s work is brought to realisation by the director, actors, designers, technicians, dancers, musicians and any other collaborators that come together on the script, scenario, or plan. This is the works in progress stage.

Genres in Indian Drama

There are different genres of plays, which are divided into the categories of tragedy, comedy, melodrama, and tragicomedy. Each of these genre/forms can be further subdivide by style and content.

Tragedy Genre : Tragedy is presented in the form of action, which will arouse pity and fear in the audience as it witnesses the action. Tragedy is serious by nature in its theme and deals with profound problems. In classic tragedy and the modern problem play, tragedy is a play in which a central character faces, and is finally defeated by, some overwhelming threat or disaster. This reinforces the emphasis on action derived from character, which explains the psychological and moral interest of much great drama. Tragedy will involve the audience in the action and create tension and expectation. With the climax and final end the audience will have learned a lesson and will leave the theatre not depressed or sullen, but uplifted and enlightened.
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Comedy Genre : Comedy should have the view of a comic spirit and is physical and energetic. Traditionally Indian comedy and humour is defined as a play that bestows on its characters good fortune, or more popularly, a happy ending. In comedy there is absence of pain and emotional reactions. There are situation comedies, romantic comedies, sentimental comedies, dark comedies, comedy of manners and pure farce. The behaviour of the characters presented in comedy is ludicrous and sometimes absurd and the result in the audience is one of correction of behaviours.

Melodrama Genre : Melodrama is drama of disaster and differs from tragedy significantly; the forces outside of the protagonist cause all of the significant events of the plot. The protagonist is usually a victim of circumstance. He is acted upon by the antagonist or anti-hero and suffers without having to accept responsibility and inevitability of fate. Melodrama has a sense of strict moral judgment, where all issues are resolved in a well-defined way.

Tragicomedy Genre : Tragicomedy is the most life like of all of the genres. It is non-judgmental and ends with no absolutes. It focuses on character relationships and shows society in a state of continuous flux. There is a mix of comedy and tragedy side by side in these types of plays.

Characters in Indian Drama

These are the people presented in the play that are involved in the perusing plot. Each character has a distinct personality, age, appearance, beliefs, socio economic background and language in the play. The way an actor plays a role, using his/her acting skills to create a character in a drama, is known as characterisation.

Music in Indian Drama

Music in Indian Drama means the sound, rhythm and melody of the speeches. Music can encompass the rhythm of dialogue and speeches in a play or can also mean the aspects of the melody and music compositions as with musical theatre. Music can also expand to all sound effects, the actor`s voices, songs, and instrumental music played as underscore in a play. In the aspects of the musical, the songs are used to push the plot forward and move the story to a higher level of intensity.

Spectacle in Indian Drama

The spectacle in the theatre can involve all of the aspects of visual elements of the production of a play; the scenery, costumes, and special effects in a production. The visual elements of the play created for theatrical event. It also refers to the shaping of dramatic material, setting, or costumes in a specific manner. Each play will have its own unique and distinctive behaviours, dress, and language of the characters. The style of a playwright is shown in the choices made in the world of the play: the kinds of characters, time periods, settings, language, methods of characterisation, use of symbols, and themes.

Dramatic Structure in Indian Drama

It refers to the form of drama and the way the story is told, the way the characters play their parts, and/or the way the themes are explored. Dramatic structure involves the overall framework or method by which the playwright uses to organise the dramatic material and or action. Most modern plays are structured into acts that can be further divided into scenes. Generally the wants and desires of one character will conflict with another character. With this method the playwright establishes a pattern of complication, rising action, climax, and resolution.

Contrast in Indian Drama

The use of contrast in drama productions like stillness contrasted with activity, or silence contrasted with noise is a useful way to focus the audience`s attention. A drama being played with no change of pace or rhythm, mostly fails to hold on to the audience`s interest, but can be brought to life with the use of contrasting sights and sounds.

Symbols in Indian Drama

Dramas are produced to a great extent through the use of symbols or representations standing in for real things. Many of the following can be understood as symbols; like props, gestures, expressions, costume, lighting and setting.

The other elements of Indian drama include design, visual element, conversions, performance, etc. In most of the dramas screened today, the audience will find a mixture of all the elements discussed above, as most playwrights tend to utilise a bit of all the elements. Artistic consideration in playwriting requires selection and arrangement. Art is skill acquired by experience, study, and clear observations.

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