Literary Terms for Reading Plays

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19 Cards. Created by Paul ().


A story in which each aspect of the story has a symbolic meaning


An address to someone not present, or to a personified object or idea


A song or orally performed poem that dramatically retells the story of a popular figure


In drama, a _______ is the group of citizens who stand outside the main action or stage and comment on it


Conversation carried on between characters in literary work

Dramatic Irony

When the audience knows something that the characters in the drama do not

Dramatic Monologue

Speech in which the poetry or character speaks to a silent audience of one or more

Dramatis personae

( Persons or characters of the Drama) Essentially this is the cast or list of names of the character that are to be featured in whichever play you are about to read


Today we use this word to refer to extremely broad humor. Writers of earlier times used ______ as a more neutral term, meaning simply a funny play


Early on the author gives hints of what will come later in the story


The excessive pride or ambition that leads to the main character's downfall

Iambic Pentameter

An Iamb is a poetic foot consisting of one unstressed syllable followed by one stressed syllable. Pentameter means that the line has five feet that may or may not rhyme as the poet refers/intends


The writer uses a word or phrase to mean the opposite of its literal or normal meaning


A form of chessy theater in which the hero is very, very good, the villain mean and rotten , and the heroine o-so-pure


A poem set in tranquil nature, or even more specifically, one about shepherds


Word or phrase used in such a way as to imply other possible meanings


It is a speech that a characters delivers while on stage alone

Suspension of Disbelief

The demand made of a theater audience to accept the limitations of staging and supply the details with imagination


An outcome that the character could have avoided at any point, but due to certain flaws, chose not to; these errors in judgment lead to their inevitable fall