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All literature involves some kind of performance which is intended

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All literature involves some kind of performance which is intended for an audience. Sometimes, however, the performative quality of a work (i.e., the fact that it is being presented to an audience) is more obvious than at others. Drama and poetry, for example, tend to emphasize overt performance more than do short stories, which more often are read silently and in solitude.

How is the more direct performative aspect of drama and/or poetry reflected in these forms? (Consider for example, each genre’s uses of literary structure, language, technique, and style.) How do these literary elements affect your reading experience?

In your post, identify key qualities of drama and poetry which emphasize their performative qualities. Discuss how these characteristics shape your reading response. Support your views with at least one example of a dramatic text and one example of a poem.

Your initial post should be at least 150 words in length.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Writing Homework
Expert:  SusanAthena replied 1 year ago.
Hi. Thanks so much for your question!

I've written you a model answer so you can see what sort of answer is expected. You can use it as a model for your own answer or put some of the ideas in your own words.

If you're happy with my answer, I appreciate your positive feedback. Otherwise, please click "Continue the Conversation" if anything I've written is unclear or needs more work.

Kind regards,
Susan

Poetry and drama have a few key features that emphasize their performative nature. One is the use of rhyme, rhythm, meter, onomatapoeia, assonance, alliteration, and other types of sound symbolism. For example, in Gwendolyn Brooks' "We real cool", the poet uses a strong rhyme scheme, a consistent meter, and an almost sing-song tone to demonstrate the lack of education of the narrator and his or her youthfulness. It also emphasizes the last line "We die soon.". Another is in "unity of action". Both drama and poetry tend to be focused on a single action, plotline, and main protagonist. In contrast, a novel might be more "epic" in nature, spanning multiple continents, historical eras, and plotlines. For instance, in a play like Ibsen's "A Doll's House", all the action focuses on the main character Nora. While there are secondary characters in the play, the focus remains on her "deception" throughout. Plays and poems tend to use characterization, emotion, and plot to develop their themes, while novels can use more exposition and direct discussion of their themes. For example, a book like "1984" also focuses on the main character Winston, but it has a lot of direct discussion of the society that he lives in. There are secondary "tangents" that aren't directed toward the main plot (his acts of rebellion) but instead just show the world that he lives in. Drama has to be more direct and to the point.
With drama and poetry, the reader has to work a bit harder to see "the point". Because everything isn't spelled out, you have to first figure out what's going on with the character or narrator in the piece, then figure out how it connects to ideas in the larger world.
SusanAthena, Master's Degree
Category: Writing Homework
Satisfied Customers: 4317
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