Literature as a cultural phenomenon and an art form has existed for over two millennia. Talented writers have developed many literary genres and styles during this time, creating new literary structures and models. Nowadays, each type of this art category has a defined set of both unique and shared functions and attributes. This essay explores the uniqueness of plays compared to short stories and poems.
Contextual Versatility of Narratives
One of the unique features of the plays is the contextual versatility of their narratives. In plays, the playwright focuses on the characters, and the dialogue between them is the center of attention. The setting is described either through these numerous conversations and monologues or directly by the author himself between acts. This method of storytelling gives stage directors room to put the plot of the play in various settings. It refreshes their meaning, brings new ones, and provides a new interpretation of the classics. Poems and short stories cannot do this because their settings are either clearly defined or too abstract.
Direct Emotional Delivery
One can say that the play becomes a complete literary work when it is performed on stage since its structure implies that people should play the events of its plot live. Another unique feature of plays is their ability to direct emotional delivery. When reading a short story or poem, readers have to imagine the characters’ feelings, but when viewing the play, the audience directly perceives the emotions intended by its playwright.
This work discusses the unique functions that the literary genre of the play has that poems and short stories lack. Two exclusive features of plays have been identified and described. These are the ability of its plots to be easily incorporated into other contexts and the direct transmission of the intended emotions by the actors to the audience. These unique functions are due to the dual nature of a play composed of elements of the arts such as literature and theater.