Have you ever been to a theatre?
Every time we talk about drama in literature, everybody will always think of William Shakespeare. He is the all-time best-selling author that sold about 2-4 billion copies!
Drama is one of the genres in literature study. Drama allows the exploration and expression portrayed by characters through different roles and situations. Students are encouraged to explore the real and fictional worlds through gestures, space and body language.
When you study drama, you are able to understand the perspective of actors and also directors. You will be able to develop a deeper understanding of the craft written by a writer.
The study of literature gives opportunities for students to develop a sense of empathy and inquiry by exploring plays from different eras, places, cultures and traditions. The students are able to read, analyse, plan, create, perform and respond to the play by drawing on their personal experiences.
The objectives of Learning Drama will allow you to be able to:
- identify, describe and analyse the setting, plot and characters
- analyse, interpret and discuss themes, messages and issues
- communicate an informed personal response with reference to texts
- identify, describe and explain the effects of dramatic techniques
- plan and produce creative works in response to texts
Get the tips to answer SPM English Literature Poetry Questions.
What are the Elements in English Literature?
The focus on the 3 genres has different elements. Prose is a piece of writing written in sentences and paragraphs. Even though drama also has a written script or texts, it isn’t considered as prose as the story is meant to be performed on stage or being acted out. Meanwhile poetry is a collection of words that express the poet’s emotion or ideas that allows the reader or audience to read between the lines and enhance their critical and analytical thinking ability.
Here are the comparison of the three elements of English Literature.
|A text written in paragraphs||Stanzas (similar to short paragraphs)||Consists of dialogues|
|May or may not contain dialogues||Can be rhyme or has rhythm||Have scenes, |
arts or acts
|Fiction||Meter||Have a lot of characters|
|In form of Novels or Short Stories||Usually show poet’s feelings, emotions and expression||Intended to be performed or acted|
|Describe characters or events|
In literature, we don't only learn about the literature texts but also we are going to learn about the writer’s or poet’s background. The basic literary elements and language used are plot, settings, characters, literary or poetic devices, themes and values and point of view.
Plot is the sequence of events that tells us what happens next in the texts. It started as the beginning or exposition and began to the rising action before reaching the climax. Afterwards, it will be on falling action and end or resolute.
Settings comprise of places (geographical), time (historical periods or eras), and culture (people or society). Literature is the science of learning societies therefore it is important to learn all of the three settings factors. We are able to know when, where and what kind of society lives in the texts.
There are 2 types of characters, main and minor characters. Main characters can either be a protagonist which is a hero or antagonist, a villain. Meanwhile, minor characters are the supporting characters that are needed to spice up the story.
The literary elements or poetic devices are different depending on the genre of the texts. You can read more in the next section. These devices are used to play with the audiences’ or readers’ emotions.
The theme is the overall ideas of the texts that either be love, family, good vs evil, redemption or courage. Meanwhile, values show what we have learnt in the texts, either we can feel compassion, bravery, patience, sincerity or responsibility.
Point of view is the persona’s views on the story. The first person is the persona’s view directly from his own perspective where he will use “I” or “We”. Second person is rarely used as the person will use the pronoun “you” which shows the person is talking to the reader. Meanwhile the third person’s view is when there is a narrator who is not a character in the story. This is the most commonly used point of view as the narrator will use “he”, “she” and “they” for characters.
Check out more on SPM English Literature Novel questions.
What is The Drama Question Format?
Drama questions lie in Section B of English Literature paper. You will need to choose 1 out of 3 questions which is the one drama that you have learnt. Remember, you’ll need to answer part A and part B of the questions. The weightage for section B is 35 marks.
Here is the Performance Levels for Drama in the Standard Document for Curriculum and Assessment drafted by the Examination Boards of Malaysia.
|PERFORMANCE STANDARDS GUIDE DESCRIPTORS (DRAMA) |
|1||Pupils can: |
· identify setting, plot and themes in texts.
· identify characters.
· read script and role play a scene.
· state positive or negative response to texts.
|2||· identify setting, basic plot development, themes and messages in texts. |
· identify and describe some character traits.
· read script with some relevant gestures and emotions.
· can identify some literary devices and dramatic techniques.
|3||· identify the significance of setting, plot development, themes, universal issues and messages in texts. |
· describe the roles of characters.
· identify and explain the use of language and literary devices in texts.
· provide a relevant personal response with some reference to texts.
· plan and present play with some understanding of dramatic techniques.
|4||· respond with clear understanding of setting, plot, themes, universal issues and messages in texts. |
· describe and analyse character development.
· analyse the use of language and literary devices in the play.
· provide a reasonably developed personal response with reference to texts.
· plan and present the play in its entirety with relevant dramatic techniques.
|5||· display critical and/or analytical understanding of the play. |
· analyse and evaluate character development.
· produce a perceptive personal response with reference to texts.
· demonstrate critical appreciation of literary devices and dramatic techniques.
· produce creative works that show good understanding of the play.
|6||· demonstrate individuality and insight in appreciating the play. |
· evaluate the use of literary devices and dramatic techniques critically.
· show sensitivity and insight through a perceptive personal response with reference to texts.
· produce well- planned creative works independently that show in-depth understanding of the play.
What is the Drama That Will Come Out in SPM 2021 and the Sample Questions?
You’ll learn only one drama of choices as your Form 4 syllabus. There are 3 choices of drama in SPM English Literature 2021.
- Flower for Algernon adapted by Bert Coules
- Hope Springs by Richard Conlon
- The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare
Here are some SPM Drama questions that you can refer to when you do your revisions.
Daniel Keyes Adapted By Bert Coules): Flowers For Algernon
- Explain the importance of Algernon in the story
- Do you feel sorry for Charlie at the end of the story? Support your answer with close reference to the text.
- Describe the two doctors who treated Charlie.
- Friendship is perceived in different ways. Discuss this statement with close reference to the text.
Richard Conlon: Hope Springs
- How is Pupil 9 different from the others?
- Correctional facilities bring about more harm than good. Discuss this statement with close reference to the text.
- Describe the role played by the Inspector.
- It is the duty of parents to provide love and security to their children. Discuss this statement with close reference to the text.
William Shakespeare: The Merchant Of Venice
- Describe the friendship between Antonio and Bassanio
- One should be merciful. Discuss this statement with close reference to one character in the text.
- Describe how Portia is portrayed in the play.
- A person’s behaviour is often determined by how others treat him. Discuss this statement with close reference to the text.
You can get the tips to answer SPM English Literature Short Stories questions.
How to Answer Drama Questions?
There might be 2 types of questions that might come out, which is a drama passage-based where you’d be given an extract and you’ll need to summarise what happened before and after the extracts.
The other one is a drama essay. You need to list out the brief comments on the writer’s use of language for characters, theme and setting. You should always remember to draft points and plan out how you are going to answer the questions.
To give a strong answer to the literature questions, you will need to always
- Write paragraphs that contain relevant quotations to the main ideas of the questions that use a variety of language devices – a clear introduction or basic descriptions
- Give a relevant explanation to the context of your main ideas and link it in the most sensible ways
- Analyse the main ideas on the language devices in terms of how the reader’s feel and be wary to connect the ideas with the questions
- Always give supporting evidence to your ideas
- Create a comprehensive conclusion and state your overall understanding
Learning English Literature could be easy, fun and exciting if you know how and it depends on who you are learning from. It can be as fun as going to the cinema or theatre to get entertained and at the same time absorb the values and messages sent by the writers.
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