Getting Ready for "Life Is a Dream"

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"Drama (from the Greek verb for 'to do' or 'to act') is the major literary form that presents characters directly to the audience, usually without the intermediary of a narrator...Drama is classified according to the effect intended on the audience, as well as the choice and rendering of the materials in order to achieve that effect..."

-From Sharon Hamilton's Essential Literary Terms, page 1

 

I thought that since we will be reading and viewing "Life is a Dream" by Pedro Calderon de la Barca, I would look up the technical definition of drama.  Also, although I haven't read the play yet and am not sure exactly how it ends, the back of our copy of the book does call it a "romantic" drama.  Hamilton refers to Romantic Comedies as dramas that "center on a love affair between a beautiful and resourceful maiden...and a worthy suitor, who must overcome social and personal obstacles to arrive at a joyous resolution" (4).  I'm not sure if this is the type of romantic drama that the author has in mind, but I'm sure we will find out.

I also wanted to point out that Hamilton says that a drama is usually categorized "according to the effect intended on the audience" (1).  I think she might have been listening to our discussions about author's intent.

Back to course website.

2 Comments

Way to be ahead of things, Erica. Just because we are talking about Spanish, I thought I could give a short Spanish lesson.

Drama means "to do." The Spanish verb for "to do" is hacer. If I were to use this in a sentence I would say, "Hago mi tarea todos los dias." That means, "I do my homework every day." I don't know what "to act" is. Does anyone else?

Erica Gearhart said:

Thanks for the refresher, Angela! I am actually excited to read this play because I hope I will be able to understand some of it in Spanish. I've never read anything beyond a young adult novel in Spanish, and that only with the help of the English version, but I hope that I will be able to compare some of the Spanish with the English. I'm glad that you know Spanish too so that we can work on this together! Oh, I think that the infinitive of "to act" is just "actuar." Does that sound right?

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