CHAPTER 2

Foundations of the Plot: Given Circumstances

Every play consists of six components from which it derives its basic nature: plot, character, idea, dialogue, tempo-rhythm-mood (Aristotle’s music), and production values (scenery, costumes, lighting, etc.). In this book we are concerned with the written part of a play; therefore, we will not deal with production values but only with those five parts supplied by the playwright. Aristotle arrived at this scheme in his study of the function of the parts of a play, called Poetics. He did not mean that all plays have these elements in the same amount or in the same way. One play may have more or fewer events in its plot than another, more complicated or simplified characters, or more or less ...

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