Dramatic genre

05-07-16 Writer 0 comment

The word drama originates from the Greek word “drao” which means to do or to perform. It comprises all the literary works written for theatrical performance.

The dramatic genre is the one that represents some chapter or conflict in human history through the characters’ dialogue.

The word dramatic comes from “drama”; this word derives from the development of an event within a given space and time. The facts refer to people or characters that symbolize in a concrete and direct way a human conflict.

This genre is thought to be publicly performed in front of an audience thus it comprises every theatrical manifestation, everything written for theatre and everything susceptible to scenic performance before an audience.

Action is a basic characteristic. What happens in the play is not described, told or commented directly by the playwright but seen by the spectator. The play is written but the most important thing in it is what happens (because of this there are wordless plays, mute plays in which gestures are used and attitudes express the conflict).

Dramatic genre subdivision:

  • Tragedy: it refers to a fatal life event that ends in a sad way or with the death of the hero.
  • Comedy: it shows comical or optimistic aspects of life. It has a happy ending.
  • Tragicomedy: a work that is part of both tragic and comic genres.
  • Religious play: representation of biblical passages, religious mysteries or moral and theological conflicts.
  • Interlude: single act, comical theatrical piece with a humorous plot.
  • Paso: brief dramatic piece with simple subject and comical treatment.
  • Monologue: Monodrama – dramatic piece played by a single actor. More extensive dialogue than usual.
  • Farce: Comical piece created to make people laugh. The difference between farce and comedy is that the former does not need to stay true to reality.
  • Vaudeville: Comedy made lighter with songs and dances of evidently frivolous, cheerful and romantic subject.
  • Opera: Theatrical play in which different characters sing through its development.
  • Operetta: Dramatic and musical play in which characters alternatively recite and sing.


  • Comic sketch: short humorous play -shorter than a single act- of popular character and plot in which social evils and conventions are ridiculed.
  • Drama: mixes aspects of tragedy and comedy.