Elements of Drama
The Norton Introduction to Literature has various stories, poems, and plays organized for good learning of literature, it is really great and has lots of interesting forms of literature .The book gives a clear understanding of the differences in fiction stories from dramatic stories that are meant to be performed, a good example is derived from the play by Anton Chekhov “The Cherry Orchard”.
The examination of the elements of drama in the play in the Norton Introduction to Literature 9th edition shows what the characters are doing on stage therefore drama involves acting and is associated with the idea of action which is the main ingredient in a play whereas in a fiction story words are the main ingredient.
Fiction comprises of works of imaginative narration organized in paper and ink and involves how the author organize his ideas and the points he covers and the use of techniques such as foreshadowing. Secondly, with fiction stories, time is quite elastic as compared to performed drama which requires one or several units of time.
According to Patricia (1984), the elements of fiction include plot, theme, characters, language diction and some new inventions to structure the literature. Setting or place are more restricted in performed drama while fiction stories can have many far-flung settings which in plays should be restricted to only several at most. On the other hand, fiction tells what happened in the past which differs from the performed drama that tells what is happening now. This further illustrates that drama is performed while fiction stories are told or narrated.
Fiction stories are complete when written, while the finished form of a play is not the script but the production. The script of a play presents a blueprint for action, but not the real action. The characters in fiction are not left to speak for themselves; instead they describe their feelings, places and what they look like. Fowler and Alastair (1984) comments that the fictional experience uses a dramatic method that enables the characters speak for themselves and perform their various actions before the eyes of their audience with the words and action presenting a picture of the characters and the situations.
Fiction can often be feigned, invented, or imagined, or something true while
drama can often be something feigned, invented, or imagined or more often something true. Fiction is used to exemplify certain truths of human life in a series of imagined facts and experience with intensity and meaning unlike performed drama where the dramatist intention is to convince the audience that the actors are not actors, that the stage is a real setting, and that the people onstage are not speaking the authors own words but words from their own hearts and minds.
In conclusion both forms of literature have the same elements such as plot which is the series of accumulated actions which creates changes in the main characters. The distinctions as discussed are that in dramatic plays the characters are showing what happens on stage. In fiction narratives the performers tell what is in the authors mind. Drama deals with what the audience are visualizing which differs from fiction stories that deal with the readers’ imagination. Drama involves action on stage and in fiction stories the actions are recalled or described. The script in drama is unfinished unlike the script in fiction stories that are complete. Finally in drama, dialogue is central compared to fiction stories where dialogue can include one or more elements.