Plot Diagram

02 May

1. The exposition establishes the setting, introduces some of the main characters, explains background, and introduces the characters’ main conflict.
2. The rising action consists of a series of complications. These occur as the main characters take action to resolve their problems.
3. The crisis, or turning point, is the moment when a choice made by the main characters determines the direction of the action: upward to a happy ending, which would be a comedy, or downward to tragedy. This turning point is the dramatic and tense moment when the forces of conflict come together. Look for the turning point in Act III.
4. The falling action presents events that result from the action taken at the turning point. These events usually lock the characters deeper and deeper into disaster; with each event we see the characters falling straight into tragedy.
5. The final and greatest climax occurs at the end of the play—usually, in tragedy, with the deaths of the main characters. In the resolution (or denouement) all the loose parts of the plot are tied up. The play is over.

The Staging the Play sidenotes throughout the play will help you visualize the play being performed—including the way the stage would be set, the way the actors would move and interact onstage, and the way they would say their lines.


Posted by on May 2, 2010 in Curriculum


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