KOLEC Lesson 15: Features of drama

KOLEC Lesson 15: Features of drama



In this lesson, the following aspects will be covered:

  • Features of drama, and
  • Special literary techniques used in drama.  



Drama is a unique genre because it can be presented and discussed both as literature and as a performance on the stage.  

The following are the features that distinguish drama from other genres of literature like novels and poems: 

(1) Drama tells the story through the combination of dialogues, unlike other genres that do not use dialogues or use rare dialogues. 

(2) Drama is performed. Unlike other literary genres, drama is intended to be performed before the audience. 

(3) Many plays are written in prose, that is to say, plays are written in everyday language. 

(4) Plays employ stage directions as a narrative point of view. Unlike novels that do not use stage directions. 

(5) Most plays are divided into acts and scenes. Novels and short stories are divided into parts, sections and chapters while poems are divided into stanzas. 

(6) The act or scene in a play ends with a curtain or blackout to show the end of an act of a scene, but this is rare to other literary genres. 


(1) Soliloquy

In drama, it is a dramatic device in which a character, alone on the stage, reveals his or her private thoughts and feelings as if thinking aloud. A soliloquy gives information that the character would not reveal to other characters on the stage. 

(2) Aside

In a play, it is a character's comment that is directed to the audience or another character but is not heard by any other characters on the stage. 

(3) Stage directions

These are the directions in the play that are given to instruct the characters on what to do on the stage. They are mostly at almost every beginning of an act or a scene and sometimes they are put in parenthesis.  

(4) Dialogue

This is the conversation of two or more people who speak in turn. The characters in the plays are made to speak in dialogues, that is, in turn. 

(5) Curtain

In drama, this marks the end of an act or a scene. 


Drama is a visual type of work of art. It is mostly written to be performed by characters and watched by the spectators or audience. In this modern world, 'dramas' are important because they directly engage the audience physically or through other media of communication.  



(1) What is drama?  

(2) State three (3) theories of the development of dramas  

(3) With examples, discuss any five (6) types of drama.  

(4) How does drama distinguish itself from other literary works? (6 points)  

(5) Elaborate any five (5) special literary techniques used in drama. 


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KOLEC Lesson 15: Assignment: Features of drama

KOLEC Lesson 15: Feedback: Features of drama

Emmanuel Kachele

Emmanuel Kachele is a founder and Blogger of KACHELE ONLINE Blog, an educational blog where 'O' Level English - 'OLE', 'A' Level English (ALE) and other related teaching and life skills are shared extensively. This is an online center for all Tanzanian Secondary School English Language students and teachers (Forms I-VI) and all interested English Language learners and teachers worldwide.

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