Drama is a genre of literature, which is basically the script, and the actors play the role of different characters to tell the story to the viewers and facilitate interpretation. It is often designed and developed for theatrical portrayal. Drama is one of the active forms of literature, which tends to inform, educate and entertain the audience at the same time.
Drama is often juxtaposed with a play. Play implies a piece of literature, which is written in single or multiple acts, consisting of different scenes in each act.
The primary difference between play and drama is that play is a dramatic performance on the stage, whereas drama is a literary composition in the form of prose or verse, that portrays dialogue showing conflict which the main character attempts to resolve.
Content: Drama Vs Play
|Basis for Comparison||Play||Drama|
|Meaning||A play implies a dramatic work which includes dialogue amidst the characters, and performed in a theater.||Drama is a literary composition, developed with an aim of theater performance, in front of the audience.|
|Meant for||Reading/Watching||Stage Performance|
|Interpretation||Characters induce interpretation and idea.||The audience interprets the drama as per their own understanding.|
|Direct interaction||There is no direct interaction between audience and playwright||Takes place between dramatist and audience|
Definition of Play
Play can be understood as the dramatic work, characterised by direct interaction between the characters. It is designed for theatrical performance, which is arranged into dialogue, acts and scene. It is meant for a particular audience, i.e. it can be a stage play, screenplay or radio play.
The feelings, emotions and ideas of the writer are presented by way of characters. In order to increase the understanding of the viewers, the playwright makes use of various dramatic elements.
The main elements of a play are plot, characters, dialogue, setting, conflict and resolution. The pattern found in the plot of the play is – Rising Action, which is followed by a Climax, and finally, Falling Action takes place.
It is composed of a single act or a number of acts, wherein each act is further divided into the scene. In each scene, various characters come on or off the stage, so as to play their respective roles and speak their lines. In a play, the main character is the protagonist, while the opposing character is an antagonist.
Definition of Drama
Drama refers to a type of fictional or non-fictional work, often presented through performance and dialogue in a theatre, stage, radio or television, in the form of play, mime, opera, ballet, and so forth. It is a literary composition, written as prose or poetry, to act a story or to portray a character, having conflict, tension and various other types of emotions.
It is also otherwise referred to as ‘staged art’. It is a literary piece which is designed for a theatre performance, wherein the different characters are assigned the roles and they perform their respective roles when the action is presented on the stage.
The characters may include human beings, spiritual beings, animals, etc. There are four basic elements of drama – imitation, plot, action and dialogue.
Types of Drama
- Comedy: Drama which has humour and sarcasm, are comedy. The components of comedy are clever wordplay, lighthearted tone, happy ending, offbeat characters, comical misunderstanding and so forth.
- Tragedy: The type of drama having a sad ending or tragic events, such as disaster, pain or even death of the main character is called a tragedy.
- Tragicomedy: It is the hybrid form of tragedy and comedy. It has a serious script, which is demonstrated in a humorous manner. It is characterised by an ambiguous theme and it neither has a happy ending nor a comical one.
- Farce: An extremely comic dramatic work of fiction that uses ridiculous yet amusing behaviour. It is characterized by non-sensical and unrealistic situations.
- Opera: A dramatic work in which speaking is replaced with singing or instrumental accompaniment is called as opera.
- Melodrama: Melodrama, as the name suggests, is the exciting dramatic composition overstated characters and sensational events aim to call for the senses of the viewers.
- Musical Drama: A musical drama is one in which the dramatist combines songs, dialogue, acting and dance, to narrate the story.
Key Differences Between Play and Drama
Upcoming points will explain to you the differences between drama and play:
- Play refers to a written composition, which is meant to be performed on stage and asks to be imagined by the audience. On the other hand, drama implies the depiction of fictional or non-fictional work, by way of acting of the written script.
- The artist who writes the drama or performs in it is called as dramatist whereas play is written by playwrights.
- The playwright does not narrate the story, rather the audience interprets the story as the characters interact and perform on the stage. As against, the drama is presented in dialogue, wherein the characters talk to themselves and respond to the events accordingly.
- Plays are written for a reading audience, but drama needs to be transformed into some other form, i.e. theatre, to present the idea.
- In a play, there is no direct interaction amidst the audience and playwright, but in case of drama direct interaction between dramatist and audience is there.
In a nutshell, the drama is a distinct and concrete genre of literature, that demonstrates life experience pragmatically to the viewers. On the other hand, a play is a subset of drama, which is used to represent actual or imaginary occurrences.