English Literature




SS 1


First Term


Week 4

Instructional Materials:

  • Recommended Literature Text


Reference Materials

  • Scheme of Work
  • Online Information
  • Textbooks
  • Workbooks
  • 9 Year Basic Education Curriculum

Previous Knowledge:

The pupils have previous knowledge of




Behavioural Objectives: At the end of the lesson, the pupils should be able to

  • Discuss ‘drama’ as a genre of literature.










Drama is taken from the Greek word, ‘Dran’, which can be said to mean, do or act. That is, drama as a genre of literature possesses a major feature which is action, whether it is on a built stage or on a village pathway as in the case of village festivals or dances. And this becomes a unifying factor for all dramatic types.



The forms of drama include the following:

Comedy: This refers to a drama usually imbued or filled with a light atmosphere and which often ends on a happy note (e.g.) The Blinkards by Kobina Sekyi and De Graft’s Son’s and Daughters.

Tragedy: Often regarded as the opposite of comedy because it is a drama whose atmosphere is usually serious and tense with an unhappy ending and in most cases involves death or a calamity e.g. Women of Owu by Femi Osofisan and Hamlet by William Shakespeare.


Tragi-comedy: It is a play which harbours elements of tragedy and comedy and often ends on a happy note (e.g.) Tempest by William Shakespeare


History Play: Also known as the chronicle play or Epic, its material is based on historical records. Besides presenting the history of individuals and people, History play also glorifies the past heroic deeds of individuals and people. William Shakespeare has a number of history plays. The commonest of them is Julius Caesar.


Farce: It is a comic drama, though of a cheaper kind in which a spectator’s belief in what is happening is not as important as the main desire to cause laughter. In a farce, believability is sacrificed while laughter and hilarity enjoy more prominence (e.g.) The Comedy of Errors by Williams Shakespeare.


Melodrama: In this type of drama, for purposes of creating excitement, sensation and shock in the spectator, belief is downplayed. Melodrama is often referred to as a tragic farce, especially when a tragedy lacks a sense of believability or convincingness (e.g.) The Jew of Malta by Christopher Marlowe.


Mime: In this type of drama, action and events are conveyed through the medium of movements, facial expression and gesture without words. In other words, it is a speechless play (e.g.) Sango by Duro Ladipo.


Opera: This is a drama that is essentially made up of songs. Here, all the actions are musical. Hence, opera is a musical play in which all of the words are sung. (e.g.) ”Samson and Delilah” adapted from the Holy Bible.



1    Discuss ‘drama’ as a genre of literature.

2    Highlight any three forms of drama.

Drama is a genre of literature that often tells a story through the use of conflict, action, and suspense. Many plays are written in order to be performed on stage, but there are also many works of drama that are intended to be read rather than performed. Examples of drama include William Shakespeare’s play Hamlet, Anton Chekhov’s play The Cherry Orchard, and Arthur Miller’s play Death of a Salesman.

While there is no one specific definition of drama, it is often characterized by certain features such as heightened emotions, conflict, and suspense. In addition, drama often makes use of literary devices such as soliloquies and monologues in order to further the plot or develop the characters.

While drama is often associated with the theatre, it is important to note that not all plays are intended to be performed. Many dramas are instead meant to be read, and these works are often just as impactful as those that are written for the stage. Examples of such reads include Sophocles’

1. What is drama?

2. What are the characteristics of drama?

3. What are the origins of drama?

4. How has drama evolved over time?

5. What are some famous examples of drama?


The following are the features of drama. But there is no restriction toward other literacy writers or authors to use some of these features. And they include:

Dramatis Personae: The display of all the participants in a drama.


Cast: A list of actors and actresses given defined roles in a drama by the playwright or director.


Playwright: The writer of a piece of drama or play.


Conflict: Another common feature of drama often involving the protagonist and the antagonist in their rivalry and struggle for assertion of influence or relevance.


Protagonist: A character that plays the most prominent role in a play or novel, often referred to as the hero/heroine or the chief character.

Antagonist: A character in a play or novel who opposes the protagonist rightly or wrongly. Often he/she contradicts the protagonist.


Denouement: Also known as resolution or the unknotting of events, it is the resultant process soon after the climax has been reached. Here the conflict in a play or novel is finally resolved.

Catharsis: This means purgation (from ‘purging’ the original Greek word). It is the feeling by an audience of a sense of release or the cleansing of the mind of excess emotion, often through the shedding of tears as when a great tragedy is being played out on stage.


Tragic Flaw: A costly mistake made by the protagonist in a play or drama. It could also mean an in-built or inherited weakness (flaw), say pride (hubris), which aids the downfall of the protagonist.


Dramatic Irony: It is a point in a drama or fiction in which a character out of ignorance says or does something which runs counter to the prevalent course of action whose real outcome is known to the audience but is hidden from the character in question.


Suspense: It is the state of anxiety and expectation in the reader/audience of a play or novel as to the likely outcome of events. It raises a reader’s interest and keeps him/her guessing as to what will happen next.


Soliloquy: It is a device in drama or novel which allows a character to engage in a loud self-talk while enabling the reader/audience to have access to what is in his/her mind.


Prologue: It is the formal introduction to a play written in prose or verse whose content is relevant to the unfolding events in the play.


Epilogue: It is the closing comment in a play which justifies an earlier course of action or fills an untreated gap in a play. It always comes at the end of a play.


Chorus: It is a couple or a band of people in a play who takes it upon themselves as a group to comment on the proceedings of a dramatic action. The group sheds light on the unfolding events and audience for what is yet to happen.


Flashback: A literary technique in a drama or novel involving the recalling of an earlier scene, action or event which sheds further light on what is currently happening.


Dialogue: It is a conversation between characters. Although, dialogue is an integral part of drama or play, novelist and poet often make use of it to make their narration a bit dramatic and real.

What are the features of drama?

1. Drama is a genre of literature that tells a story through dialogue and action.

2. Drama often contains characters who must overcome obstacles to reach their goals.

3. Drama typically focuses on conflict and suspense, which keeps readers engaged.

4. Drama often uses literary devices such as foreshadowing and symbolism to add depth to the story.

5. Drama can be classified into subgenres such as tragedy, comedy, and tragicomedy.”.

Mime’ and ‘Opera

Mime and Opera are two different forms of drama that have been around for centuries. Mime is a form of drama that uses only body movement to tell a story, while opera is a form of drama that combines music, singing, and acting.

There are many different types of mime, but one of the most popular is pantomime. Pantomime is a type of mime that uses exaggerated body movements to tell a story. It is often used in children’s theater.

Another popular type of mime is commedia dell’arte. Commedia dell’arte is a form of improvisational drama that was popular in Italy during the Renaissance. It is still performed today.

Opera, on the other hand, is a form of drama that combines music, singing, and acting. Opera is often considered to be a higher form of drama than mime because it requires all three elements to tell a story.

Some of the most famous operas include “The Marriage of Figaro” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, “La Bohème” by Giacomo Puccini, and “The Barber of Seville” by Gioachino Rossini.

While mime and opera are two different forms of drama, they both have their own unique elements that make them special. Mime is a great way to tell a story without using any words, while opera is a great way to combine music and acting to create a truly powerful experience.


1    Discuss the importance of chorus, epilogue and prologue in drama.

2    Discuss dramatic irony with scenes from any of the recommended plays.



  1. In a play or story, we refer to the character who contradicts the protagonist as the

(a) opponent (b) obstacle (c) villain (d) pun.

  1. A bashful smile of appreciation illuminated Nelly’s pretty face’. The figure of speech implied in the use of illuminated is (a) personification (b) metaphor (c) simile (d) meiosis
    • ‘Hedwig, in spite of her misfortune, held her head to high heavens.’ The device used is

(a) alliteration (b) anagnorisis (c) personification (d) prolepsis

  • ____ determines the atmosphere of a poem. (a) Tone (b) Theme (c) Structure (d) Synopsis.
  • A type of play which is funny, whose action is difficult to believe is called a

(a) farce (b) melodrama (c) prosaic drama (d) comedy.



1     Discuss ‘Mime’ and ‘Opera’ as different forms of drama.

2     List and define six features of drama.


1. What is the primary purpose of drama?

A. To provide entertainment

B. To teach a moral lesson

C. To tell a story

D. To promote a political agenda

2. What are the three unities that classic Greek dramatists strived to uphold in their writing?

A. Unity of time, space, and plot

B. Unity of character, theme, and setting

C. Unity of action, thought, and feeling

D. Unity of purpose, message, and audience

3. What is the difference between a play and a screenplay?

A. A play is meant to be performed while a screenplay is meant to be read

B. A play has stage directions while a screenplay does not

C. A screenplay is meant to be performed while a play is meant to be read

D. A play is shorter than a screenplay

4. In order for a work to be classified as drama, it must contain all of the following EXCEPT:

A. Characters

B. Dialogue

C. A plot

D. Prose

5. What is the most important element of drama?

A. The characters

B. The plot

C. The setting

D. The dialogue


The topic is presented step by step


Step 1:

The subject teacher revises the previous topics


Step 2.

He introduces the new topic


Step 3:

The subject teacher allows the pupils to give their own examples and he corrects them when the need arises.




1.Which of the following is NOT a form of drama?

A. Tragedy

B. Farce

C. Comedy

D. Romance

2. Which of the following is a form of drama?

A. Tragedy

B. Farce

C. Opera

D. Epic

3. Which of the following is a form of drama?

A. Satire

B. Tragedy

C. Farce

D. Comedy

4. Which of the following is a form of drama?

A. Myth

B. Legend

C. Fairy tale

D. Fable

5. Which of the following is NOT a form of drama?

A. Mime

B. Puppetry

C. Mask

D. Therapeutic role-play





The subject teacher wraps up or concludes the lesson by giving out a short note to summarize the topic that he or she has just taught.

The subject teacher also goes round to making sure that the notes are well copied or well written by the pupils.

He or she makes the necessary corrections when and where the needs arise.