Drama vs. Fiction Essays

888 Words 4 Pages
The differences between drama and fiction are relatively small and there are many things that are similar between drama and fiction. This makes sense as they are both literary forms that are trying to pass stories along to the reader or watcher. These elements are the building blocks of any story and are pretty much required. Where drama and fiction differ though is what makes each one its own form.
Plots. A plot is needed for a good work of fiction and it is also needed for a good work of drama. Aristotle identified this as one of his six elements of drama. This is “what happens in a play; the order of events, the story as opposed to the theme; what happens rather than what it means” (Kentucky Shakespeare Festival). If you don’t reveal
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Themes are shared as well. This is what the play means as opposed to what has happened. Theme plays the same role in both drama and fiction. The last few elements are shared between any story you are going to tell whether it is drama, a piece of fiction, or even a short story you are telling to your friends. Every one of these requires a plot, characters, and a theme.
Now let’s look at where drama and fiction differ. An obvious choice is what Aristotle calls spectacle. This is the visual elements of the play. This is the scenery, costumes and any special effects in the play. All of these things are imagined when they are read from a story, but they are fully realized in a play. If two people read the same book they both can have a different mental image of the main character, but if they see the same play then they will have the same mental image of the main character. This also highlights another difference between them. Plays are written to be both read and acted out. This shows up as directions for the actor and the director on what is happening in the play. This isn’t a bad thing; it is just one of the differences between drama and fiction.
Dialogue is the other main difference. This is the exchange of words in a play. Works of fiction usually have to tell us how words are spoken, but drama can show us. Dialogue is action oriented in drama. “In the play the difference lies first in an insistence that
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