The Elements of Drama<br />Literature-Based Research<br />
What is Drama?<br />Drama is meant to be performed by actors on a stage for an audience. <br />Drama is literature with arms, legs, tears, laughs, whispers, shouts, and gestures that are alive and immediate (1364).<br />Drama is enhanced by what the audience brings to the performance.<br />
When we read drama, a running script begins playing in our minds. The experience is similar to “seeing” a story rather than simply reading it.<br />As you read, you become the play’s director; you construct an interpretation based on the playwright’s use of language, development of character, arrangement of incidents, description of settings, and directions for staging.<br />
Writing about Drama<br />Writing about drama helps you explore, clarify, and discover dimensions of the play you may not have perceived by simply watching a performance.<br />It helps to read carefully, take notes, and annotate the text as you work through the play (1408).<br />Check out the “Questions for Responsive Reading and Writing” on pp. 1408-1409.<br />
Susan Glaspell<br />Playwright, short story writer<br />Journalist, novelist<br />Born in Davenport, Iowa<br />Graduated from Drake University in 1899<br />Worked as a reporter for the Des Moines News<br />Published short stories in Harper’s and Ladies Home Journal<br />Prolific writer – she published more than 20 plays, novels, and over 40 short stories.<br />
Trifles (1916)<br />The play’s focus is not on the murder or who committed it, but rather on the “moral, social, and psychological aspects of the assumptions and perceptions of the men and women who search for the murderer’s motive” (1366). <br />Glaspell is more interested in the meaning of Mrs. Wright’s life than in the details of Mr. Wright’s death.<br />
Works Cited<br />Meyer, Michael. The Bedford Introduction to Literature: Reading, Thinking, Writing, Ninth Ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2011. Print.<br />
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