Drama is the specific mode of fiction represented in performance. The term comes from a Greek word "dran" meaning "action" (Classical Greek: δρᾶμα, drama), which is derived from "to do" or "to act" (Classical Greek: δράω, draō). The enactment of drama in theatre, performed by actors on a stage before an audience, presupposes collaborative modes of production and a collective form of reception. The structure of dramatic texts, unlike other forms of literature, is directly influenced by this collaborative production and collective reception. The early modern tragedy Hamlet (1601) by Shakespeare and the classical Athenian tragedy Oedipus the King (c. 429 BCE) by Sophocles are among the masterpieces of the art of drama. A modern example is Long Day's Journey into Night by Eugene O’Neill (1956).
The two masks associated with drama represent the traditional generic division between comedy and tragedy. They are symbols of the ancient Greek Muses, Thalia and Melpomene. Thalia was the Muse of comedy (the laughing face), while Melpomene was the Muse of tragedy (the weeping face). Considered as a genre of poetry in general, the dramatic mode has been contrasted with the epic and the lyrical modes ever since Aristotle's Poetics (c. 335 BCE)—the earliest work of dramatic theory.
The use of "drama" in the narrow sense to designate a specific type of play dates from the 19th century. Drama in this sense refers to a play that is neither a comedy nor a tragedy—for example, Zola's Thérèse Raquin (1873) or Chekhov's Ivanov (1887). It is this narrow sense that the film and television industry and film studies adopted to describe "drama" as a genre within their respective media. "Radio drama" has been used in both senses—originally transmitted in a live performance, it has also been used to describe the more high-brow and serious end of the dramatic output of radio.
Drama is often combined with music and dance: the drama in opera is generally sung throughout; musicals generally include both spoken dialogue and songs; and some forms of drama have incidental music or musical accompaniment underscoring the dialogue (melodrama and Japanese Nō, for example). In certain periods of history (the ancient Roman and modern Romantic) some dramas have been written to be read rather than performed. In improvisation, the drama does not pre-exist the moment of performance; performers devise a dramatic script spontaneously before an audience.
Read more about Drama: History of Western Drama
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... first came into the public eye in the early 1990s, in Troublemakers and the 1997 BBC costume drama, The Moonstone ... She has since appeared in many other television dramas, including Dennis Potter's Karaoke (BBC One/Channel 4, 1995), Heartbeat (ITV1, 1995), The Beggar ... In 2010 she appeared in a 6-part drama for ITV called Identity as Detective Superintendent Martha Lawson and as the leading role 'Lady Agnes Holland' in the re-launch of Upstairs ...
... in a Motion Picture Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture Television Outstanding Drama Series Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series Outstanding ...
... The NAACP Image Award winners for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series (Prior to 1995, this category was called "Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series, Mini-Series or Television Movie ...
... Rick Salutin has an interest in drama and performing arts ... His unpublished Maria was a drama on CBC television about a woman fighting to put factory workers in the union ...
... dining-room table? ” Shaw's first play, Bury the Dead (1936) was an expressionist drama about a group of soldiers killed in a battle who refuse to be buried ...
Famous quotes containing the word drama:
“My faith is the grand drama of my life. Im a believer, so I sing words of God to those who have no faith. I give bird songs to those who dwell in cities and have never heard them, make rhythms for those who know only military marches or jazz, and paint colours for those who see none.”
—Olivier Messiaen (19081992)
“Our true history is scarcely ever deciphered by others. The chief part of the drama is a monologue, or rather an intimate debate between God, our conscience, and ourselves. Tears, griefs, depressions, disappointments, irritations, good and evil thoughts, decisions, uncertainties, deliberationsall these belong to our secret, and are almost all incommunicable and intransmissible, even when we try to speak of them, and even when we write them down.”
—Henri-Frédéric Amiel (18211881)
“By whatever means it is accomplished, the prime business of a play is to arouse the passions of its audience so that by the route of passion may be opened up new relationships between a man and men, and between men and Man. Drama is akin to the other inventions of man in that it ought to help us to know more, and not merely to spend our feelings.”
—Arthur Miller (b. 1915)