What Are the Five Elements of Drama?

The five elements of drama are the thought, theme, and ideas; action and plot; characters; language; and music. The spectacle, consisting of the scenery, props, costumes and special effects of a production, is also an element of drama.

The first element of drama, namely the thought, theme, and ideas of a production, describes what the play means as opposed to what happens throughout the plot. It deals with the overall messages of a production.

The second element of drama, action and plot, deals with what happens throughout the production as well as the main conflicts. It includes the exposition, the rising action, climax, falling action and resolution of the play.

The third element of drama, characters, describes the people involved in the plot of the play. The fourth element, language, refers to the words chosen by the playwright as well as the way in which the characters speak them. The dialect chosen helps drive the play and shapes the background of individual characters.

The fifth element, music, refers to any music that drives the play forward and heightens excitement or suspense throughout. Music is a part of most theatrical productions, but not all. The spectacle element, or the scenery, props, costumes, and special effects should also be considered when studying drama, because these items play a large role in the production of a play.