Structure of the play
Within every piece of drama there is a structure, whether it be a Greek tragedy or a modern comedy. The structure can be divided into a number of stages, each dependent upon and building upon the previous ones, to create a main plot and sub plots, conflict or confusion, and ultimately resolution.
The stages can be summarised as follows:
• Introduction to a situation and characters
• A train of events is set in place
• chaos or confusion follows, with the situation growing more complex
• climax of the action, followed by resolution
Shakespeare's plays conform to this structure, as do those of his contemporaries. The same structure also applies to fairy tales, myths and narratives of all kinds.
The role of the director and performers is to take this structure and bring it to life for the audience, in order to make the story and characters as convincing as possible.