The word drama covers many meanings and subjects; if you are writing essays about drama, discover our guide with interesting essay examples and writing prompts featured here.
What is drama to you? Many know it as a situation or event in which emotions run high. For others, the grand, intricate stage plays of Shakespeare and others of his time come to mind. Regardless, these and all other definitions of drama share one thing in common: emotion.
In all its forms, from theatre to television to cinema to even day-to-day interaction, drama is always centered around emotion, tension, and conflict- things we experience daily. Drama is, quite literally, our life, complete with all its imperfections, troubles, twists, and turns.
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- 1. The History of Drama by Homer Stewart
- 2. Why the News Is Not the Truth by Peter Vanderwicken
- 3. Drama Reflection Essay (Author Unknown)
- 4. Kitchen Sink Dramas by Rodolfo Chandler
- 5. Love Yourself, Not Your Drama by Crystal Jackson
- 6. Shakespeare’s Theater: An Essay from the Folger Shakespeare Editions by Barbara Mowat and Paul Werstine
- 5 Prompts for Essays About Drama
1. The History of Drama by Homer Stewart
“Perhaps the most theatrical form of drama was opera which is still popular in today’s society. Broadway is certainly a sight that attracts thousands of people annually. In addition, the playwrights of today are striving to make the theatrical experience meaningful to the lives of viewers so that it is not just simply “pleasant entertainment”. Many themes that drama plays in modern times focus on are social problems, tragedies involving the elements of love and hate and as well as social problems that affect the inhabitants of today.”
Stewart gives readers a brief history of drama and its subjects. In different eras, the plays were based around themes and ideas prevalent in those times; for example, the Romantic Period focused on the “experiences of ordinary people.” He also references several playwrights, including Friedrich von Schiller and Percy Bysshe Shelley. In modern times, drama is centered around critical social issues while still managing to be engaging and entertaining.
2. Why the News Is Not the Truth by Peter Vanderwicken
“Pulitzer turned them into stories with a sharp dramatic focus that both implied and aroused intense public interest. Most newspapers of the time looked like the front page of the Wall Street Journal still does. Pulitzer made stories dramatic by adding blaring headlines, big pictures, and eye-catching graphics. His journalism took events out of their dry, institutional contexts and made them emotional rather than rational, immediate rather than considered, and sensational rather than informative.”
Vanderwicken criticizes the state of news today, saying that many stories are dramatized and outright fabricated to make them more entertaining. He attributes this to Joseph Pulitzer of Pulitzer Prize fame, who introduced He also gives historical examples of instances where the media has exaggerated – news today is too dramatic, and it must change.
You might also be interested in these essays about Macbeth.
3. Drama Reflection Essay (Author Unknown)
“I felt that this learning experience is a very huge step because it takes us from doing a play which is very immature in to something that is big and has maturity in it. It helps me to practice in fluency, public speaking and mostly self-confidence. In the play I developed my ways of acting and how to put emotions in to the character, in which those emotions were not really me.”
This essay describes lessons one can learn from performing drama, such as confidence and speaking fluently. The author also reflects on an experience performing in drama, where the author learned to be more expressive, speak better, and become more hardworking. There is also a brief discussion on the elements of drama, including plot and setting. Drama is important and can teach you essential skills and lessons.
4. Kitchen Sink Dramas by Rodolfo Chandler
“In the late 1950s in Britain, the “Kitchen Sink movement”, which is also known as “Kitchen Sink realism” occurred. This cultural movement stemed from ideas about working class activities. A typical writer of kitchen sink dramas is John Osborne, for example his drama “Look back in anger” which aroused many strong opinions when it was first performed as a drama. It is set in a small flat in the west midlands, which is typical of working class people.”
Chandler describes a period in drama where “kitchen sink dramas” depicted working-class stories. He uses John Osborne’s “Look Back in Anger” as an example, briefly describing the play. Jimmy, one of the characters, was known as an “angry young man,” This term was later used to describe young people critical of the social and political state of the world.
5. Love Yourself, Not Your Drama by Crystal Jackson
“We learn to recognize co-dependence, narcissism, and toxicity for what they are rather than making excuses because we liked the look of someone. In other words, we grow up.
We stay in love with our own toxic patterns and keep the cycle of damage going, or we recognize the collateral damage of all our drama and start wanting better for ourselves. We make choices. We experience consequences. If we grow up, we’ll even connect the two.”
Jackson’s essay discusses drama from another perspective, the drama that comes with love life. She gives readers tips on how to care for yourself better and look past all the tension, confusion, and drama that comes with dating. If we look at potential partners from a deeper, more constructive point of view, we can avoid toxic relationships and have a healthy love life.
6. Shakespeare’s Theater: An Essay from the Folger Shakespeare Editions by Barbara Mowat and Paul Werstine
“When performance required that an actor appear “above,” as when Juliet is imagined to stand at the window of her chamber in the famous and misnamed “balcony scene,” then the actor probably climbed the stairs to the gallery over the back of the stage and temporarily shared it with some of the spectators. The stage was also provided with ropes and winches so that actors could descend from, and reascend to, the “heavens.””
In their essay, Mowat and Werstine discuss the conventions of performing Shakespearean drama during his time, including the performance of some scenes in different areas of the theater and men playing women’s roles. They also discuss how the theaters they performed in, such as the Globe Theatre, enhanced the plays’ dramatic effect.
5 Prompts for Essays About Drama
1. What Is Drama?
The word drama has many meanings and is used differently, as seen in the essay examples above. In your essay, give the word’s etymology, explain the different sides of drama, from theatre to school life, and give examples of how they exemplify the meaning. Explain how they are all connected as well.
2. Types of Drama
Drama in the context of theatre has four primary forms: comedy, tragedy, tragicomedy, and melodrama. Discuss each type of drama and elaborate on its characteristics. If you wish, compare and contrast them as well. Be sure to give examples of plays when explaining them.
3. The History of Drama
In your essay, you can also discuss the different periods in the history of drama. Explain what occurred in these periods, how drama changed, and their effects on modern drama. You need not explore too many periods; just make sure you write about key developments and explain them adequately.
4. Is the World Over-Dramatized Today?
In the world today, the resilience of survivors is glorified and dramatized, while we see media outlets making headlines out of mere gossip and celebrity news. From this, it can be argued that society is centered around making a drama out of nothing. Why is this the case? Discuss your opinion on this issue- feel free to research if you need inspiration.
5. A Dramatic Incident of the Past
Look back to a past event marked by tension, emotion, and drama. Narrate the events and explain how they made you feel- did you learn anything from them? This can be either your own experience or just an event from history or the news. You can read this essay for further inspiration.
Note: drama can mean different things to different people, so what you consider “dramatic” is up to you.For help picking your next essay topic, check out our top essay topics about love.