Revelation: Comedy, Tragedy or Both?

Types of Drama

There are three basic types of drama:

  1. Tragedy: a serious, solemn play based on an important social, personal, or religious issue.
  2. Comedy: a play that shows the humorous actions of characters when they try to solve social, personal, or religious problems.
  3. Tragicomedy: a play or novel containing elements of both comedy and tragedy.

What’s Reading a play Like?

Reading a play is like listening to a conversation, and using your imagination to guess at what the characters are like. This conversation is what actors will perform on the stage and will give you an idea of how other people, including the playwright, imagined the play to be.

If you have read a play and then see it, you may be surprised because the play may be different from what you had imagined. This is similar to reading a story and then seeing a movie of that story.

It is rarely exactly what you had imagined.

Analyzing Drama

How you react to a play will depend on:

  1. your individual perspective of the world
  2. your sense of humor
  3. you political attitudes
  4. your moral values

Aspects of drama to enjoy and interpret a play


The scenic design and props. These add meaning and historical context to what characters do and say in the drama. Some components of the setting are as follows:

  1. The orchestra, the performance and dancing area for actors and chorus.
  2. The lighting is used to show
    • illusion of time
    • highlight an action
    • emphasize an event or character
  3. Costumes are used to portray
    1. age
    2. class
    3. profession
    4. ethnic culture.


The way a play is organized into sections. Most plays are divided into acts and scenes. A traditional play follows the structural pattern of a traditional short story or novel. It has

  • an introduction (exposition)
  • rising action
  • climax
  • falling action
  • resolution (denouement).

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