Five fold structure of Drama
Dramatic structure refers to the form of drama and the way the story is told, the way the characters play their parts, and/or the way the themes are explored. It involves the overall framework or method which the playwright employs to organize the dramatic material and/or action. The playwright establishes a pattern of complication, exposition, rising action, climax, falling action and resolution. This is commonly known as cause to effect arrangement of incidents.
i) Initial incidence/Exposition
The initial incidence or exposition provides the background information for the play. It is a prerequisite for understanding the theme/story, such as the protagonist, the antagonist, the basic conflict, and the setting. In this sense Abrams (1993) clarifies, “The beginning initiates the main action in a way which makes us look forward to something more. The initial incidence of a play sheds lights on the events that have occurred prior to the beginning to the play.
ii) Rising Action
The rising action is the section of the plot beginning with the point of attack and/or inciting incident and proceeding forward to the crisis onto the climax. The action of the play will rise as it sets up a situation of increasing intensity and anticipation. These scenes make up the body of the play and usually create a sense of continuous mounting suspense’s in the audience.
The rising action gives way to the climax which is a turning point in a play. Now the protagonist’s affairs undergo a change, for the better or the worse. The action achieves its greater tension as it moves to a point of CLIMAX, when a revelation is experienced, usually by the chief characters, this is the moment where the major dramatic questions rise to the highest level, the mystery hits the unraveling point, and the culprits are revealed.
In the plot of a play, the action falling the climax of the work is called the falling action. We find the falling action an the descending side of the pyramid. During the falling action the conflict between the protagonist and the antagonist unravels, with the protagonist winning or losing against the antagonist.
The final clarification of a dramatic plot is called a resolution. Comedy ends with a denouement (a conclusion) in which the protagonist is better off than at the story’s outset. Tragedy ends with a catastrophe in which the protagonist is worse off than at the beginning of the narrative. Therefore catastrophe is the tragic denouement of a play or a story. The resolution is the moment of the play in which the conflicts are resolved.