9 Analyzing Drama

A scene, which may include several dramatic units, is a group of happenings that occur in one place or in one stretch of time. Begin your analysis by amassing information about the characters. What are their givens (that is, the reliable information about them embedded in the text)? Like detectives, we consider their appearance, age, gender, dress, role, and social circumstances (see Figure 8–1, “Checklist for Developing a Character”). We pay particular attention to evidence of their agendas as we generate a list of certainties, probabilities, and possibilities. Remember there are short-term drives (“I’m awfully tired and must sit down”) and there are pervasive, long-term drives that often go unnoticed by everyone, including ...

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