Definition of Drama: Characteristics, Elements, Types, Structures, and Examples

Definition of Drama – Friend, have you ever watched a drama or theater performance on one of your favorite televisions? Or, have you ever watched a drama or theater performance live? However, in the drama or theatrical staging, the role of the play text is very important to run the program.

Well, this article will explain the ins and outs of drama in depth, starting from the definition, characteristics, elements, structure, language rules, types, and of course examples of drama scripts. Material about drama has actually been discussed in grade 11 Indonesian subjects. Come on, have a look at the following article for a deeper understanding of the meaning of drama, and more.

A. Definition of Dramatic Text

According to etymology, the term drama departs from the Greek word “draomai”, which has the meaning of doing, acting, acting, and acting. Based on the history of the word, drama text can be understood as an act or action that is written and then used in a performance on a stage.

Along with the times, drama is not only limited to being staged between stages. Nowadays, drama can be defined as a story that is staged on stage or not staged on stage, such as film, television, radio drama, and so on.

In a broad sense, drama text is basically part of a literary work containing stories about life that are displayed or shown in the form of actions or deeds. Meanwhile, the drama itself is usually played by someone who is called an actor or actress. In staging plays, these actors and actresses will make movements and dialogues according to the drama text to be shown to many people.

B. Characteristics of Dramatic Text

After knowing the meaning of the text, then the characteristics of the drama text will be explained. The characteristics of a drama text can be used to mark or distinguish this text from other texts. In addition, the characteristics of drama are also a special sign that distinguishes it from other literary works. The following are the characteristics of the drama text that need attention, including:

1. Drama text has a story in the form of dialogue, both spoken by the narrator and characters.

2. All dialogues in the drama text do not use quotation marks.

3. Drama texts have some specific instructions that must be carried out by actors or actresses who play the characters in the text.

4. The text of the drama is located above the dialogue or to the left of the dialogue.

5. Dramatic text contains many conflicts and actions.

6. The text of the drama must be played or staged.

7. Dramatic texts can usually be performed in less than three hours.

8. Drama text cannot be repeated in a certain period.

C. Elements of Dramatic Text

After knowing the meaning and characteristics of drama text, then the elements of drama text will be explained. Elements in drama texts are almost the same as other literary genres. In drama texts, there are two types of elements, namely, intrinsic elements and extrinsic elements.

1. Intrinsic Elements

Intrinsic elements, means elements that are in a drama text. These intrinsic elements are as follows:

a. Characters and Characterizations

Characters in drama texts have meaning as fictional characters in a drama story. Meanwhile, characterization or characterization in a drama text is a picture that tells the character of the character.

b. Background (Settings)

The background or setting in a drama text is an aspect of space or place, time, to the atmosphere where events occur in a drama text.

c. Channel

The plot in a drama text is a series of events that are intertwined in a literary text, based on the law of cause and effect. Plot itself can be understood as a pattern and linkage of events to move the story towards the conflict and completion of the story.

d. Theme

The theme in a drama text is a main idea that is supported by a network of other elements, such as characters, plots, and story settings in the form of a dialogue.

e. Mandate

The message in a drama text is a message conveyed by the author to readers of drama texts or audiences of drama performances.

2. Extrinsic Elements

Furthermore, the extrinsic elements of the drama text can be interpreted as all elements that are outside the drama text, but have a role in the existence of the drama text. These extrinsic elements are as follows:

a. Biography or curriculum vitae of the author of the play text

b. The philosophy of life of the playwright

c. Socio-cultural elements of society that become the inspiration in making drama scripts or texts

C. Dramatic Text Structure

After knowing the meaning, characteristics, and elements of a drama text, then an explanation of the structure of the drama text will be presented. As part of the framework of a text, the structure of a drama text consists of three parts, including prologue, dialogue, and epilogue. The following is an explanation:

1. Prologue

The first part of the drama text structure is the prologue. Prologue can be understood as an introduction or opening words that have an introductory role. The prologue itself usually contains an explanation of the general description of the characters, conflicts, background stories, or various things that happen in the drama. In drama performances, the prologue is often delivered by the narrator or it can also be called the dalang, sometimes the prologue is also specifically delivered by certain characters in the drama.

2. Dialogue

The second part of the structure of the drama text is dialogue. Dialogue can be defined as a conversation or conversation between two or more people. In the structure of a drama text, dialogue becomes an element that has a very important role. That’s because a drama performance is built using every dialogue between the characters.

In drama texts, dialogue can also convey a picture of the feelings of the characters. This is what makes drama staging necessary to be played by actors or actresses who can animate the characters and feelings of the characters being played. In addition, actors and actresses must also be able to pronounce the dialogue of the characters being played, for example by using a voice that matches the feelings and character of the character.

3. Epilogue

The third part of the structure of the drama text is the epilogue. The epilogue is basically the closing word in a play text, which is the function of the epilogue to end a play. In drama staging, the epilogue usually contains the conclusion or mandate or the main content of the drama text. Just like the prologue, the epilogue is generally delivered by a narrator or puppeteer. However, it could be due to the need for staging an epilogue delivered by the characters in the play.

In addition to the explanation of the sections above, the dialogue section of the structure of the play text itself has three parts, including orientation, complication, and resolution (denouement). The three parts of the dialogue are then divided into several acts and certain scenes. One act in a drama text usually contains a story about a major event in the dialogue. This can be seen by the emergence of several changes or developments from the events experienced by the main character. Meanwhile, a scene in a play text only includes one dialogue choices from each character.

E. Language Rules of Drama

1. Drama text contains dialogue.

2. Many use quotation marks in dialogue

3. In the prologue and epilogue, drama texts use a lot of third person pronouns, namely like he, he, he, his, and so on.

4. In the dialogue section, drama text uses a lot of first and second person pronouns, for example, I, I, we, we, and you.

5. Dramatic texts use a lot of temporal conjunctions or adverbs of time, for example, before, now, after that, first, then, and so on.

6. Drama text uses a lot of verbs that describe an event, for example, such as ordering, crowning, getting rid of, facing, resting, and so on.

7. Drama texts use a lot of verbs that express something the characters think or feel, for example like feeling, wanting, expecting, yearning, experiencing, and so on.

8. Drama texts use a lot of adjectives to describe characters, places, or atmosphere, for example, namely crowded, clean, good, dashing, strong, and so on.

F. Types of Dramatic Text

Now, after you know the meaning, characteristics, elements, structure, and linguistic rules, here is an explanation of the various types of drama texts. The type of drama text itself is divided into seven, namely:

1. Based on the Presence of Manuscripts

a. Traditional drama, is a type of drama that often does not use text or drama scripts.

b. Modern drama, is a type of drama that uses a lot of text or drama scripts.

2. Based on Conversational Literary Forms

a. Poetry drama, is a type of drama whose conversation is made in the form of poetry or contains many elements of poetry.

b. Prose drama, is a type of drama where the conversation is made in prose.

3. Based on the Contents

a. Tragedy is a type of drama that presents the characters in a sad or gloomy state. This drama usually occurs because the character is in a critical situation. In this adverse situation, it could lead the character into despair and destruction. Tragedy plays are often also called serious dramas. Serious drama is usually understood as a drama that depicts conflict between characters and extraordinary powers. The end of a serious drama will generally be a catastrophe or sadness that befalls the main character.

b. Comedy drama, is a type of light drama that is entertaining. Although full of jokes or humor, these dramas often contain satire. Unlike tragedies, comedies usually have a happy ending.

c. Comedy-tragedy drama, is a type of drama that uses sad or mourning plots, but the ending of this drama gives happiness to the main character.

4. Based on the Quantity of Conversation

a. Pantomime drama, is a type of drama that is staged without using many words. This drama maximizes the use of the body movements of the characters.

b. Mini word drama, is a type of drama that is staged using only a few words. This drama usually maximizes the use of body movements from the characters and lots of sounds from the mouths of the characters, but the sounds produced are not in the form of words.

c. Monologue drama, is a type of drama that features drama with only one main character who monologues or talks alone throughout the performance.

d. Dialogue drama, is a type of drama that staged the characters to dialogue using words.

5. Based on the magnitude of the influence of other artistic elements

a. Dramatic opera is a type of drama performance that emphasizes sound and music.

b. Drama ballet, is a type of drama staging that prioritizes the art of dance.

c. Tableau drama is a type of drama where there is not much action or dialogue.

6. Based on Other Forms

a. Absurd drama is a type of drama performance that consciously ignores or violates plot, characterization, and thematic conventions.

b. Reading drama, is a type of drama text that is only suitable for reading and not suitable for staging.

c. Bourgeois drama, is a type of drama staging that has a theme about the life of the nobility.

d. Domestic drama, is a type of drama staging that has a theme about the lives of ordinary people.

e. Liturgical drama, is a type of drama text that is staged simultaneously with the church service ceremony.

f. One act drama is a type of drama performance that only has one act and one theme with a small number of actors or actresses, and has a concise plot.

g. Folk drama is a type of drama performance that appears and develops in folk festivals. This drama is usually staged in rural areas.

7. Based on the Means of Presentation

a. Stage drama, is a type of drama played by actors and actresses on stage.

b. Radio drama, is a type of drama that is broadcast on the radio. This drama can only be heard by listeners.

c. Television drama, is a type of drama that is almost the same as stage drama. However, this drama is shown through television media.

d. Drama film, is a type of drama that is shown on a big screen like a cinema.

e. Wayang drama, is a type of drama accompanied by wayang performances.

f. Puppet drama, is a type of drama that uses puppets in the performance.

G. Sample Drama Script

The pursuit of ideals

There are two children who have been friends since childhood, named Adi and Anjas. They were always together, but since Adi’s father had to change jobs, the two of them separated. Once upon a time they accidentally met again without realizing it.
When they met, the two of them had a conversation. Because they are both in grade 12, they are also discussing where they will go to college after graduating from high school later.

Anjas : by the way, where do you want to study?
Adi : I want to study in PIP.
Anjas: what major are you taking?
Adi : cruise. Do you want to be a ship captain hehehe.. hmmm but…
Anjas : but what about you?
Adi : but I’m weak in physics class.
Anjas: duh, don’t be sad, it’s okay. If you study harder you can do it. Keep trying, don’t give up. Pursue your goals. Eits but don’t forget that if you have tried, we also have to keep praying.
Adi : yes, thank you for the input, I will definitely study harder.
Anjas: Well that’s it.
Adi : how about you? where do you want to study?
Anjas: I don’t know yet. Where do you think it is? What major?
Adi : I think it’s better if you just follow your heart. Certainly according to your talents and interests as well.
Anjas : Yes. But the problem is I don’t know where my talents are.
Adi : yes, in my opinion, your talent should ask other people’s opinion about your talent. For example to friends, to teachers, to parents as well for sure. Then if you are still confused, I suggest you to ask the Almighty for guidance. Yes, by praying.
Anjas : Wow, thank you too, for your opinion and advice. I will try to follow your advice. Oh yeah, it’s already late. I’m home. Thanks Adi.
Adi : oh yes already. You’re welcome. Thank you, Anjas.

And after the conversation earlier, the two of them became more active in studying again. And finally Anjas has recognized his talent and interest in continuing his schooling.

Time is ticking. It didn’t feel like the two of them had passed the exam and they also wanted to continue their studies to the college they wanted. Because they study hard and pray, they are finally accepted at the university they want.

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