Absurd Drama | Comedy of manners | Dramatic Monologue | Notes of history of English literature

Absurd Drama, Commedy of manners, Dramatic Monologue
History of English Literature ,short question notes


 History of English Literature ,short question notes / Absurd Drama, Comedy of manners, Dramatic Monologue.

 Q.  What is Absurd drama?

Ans: Absurd drama or absurd play is one kind of 20th century's modern play. Generally, it conveys nothingness or meaninglessness of life, stupidity and darkness of modern time. Usually, it does not have strong plot and structure.It tries to convey the hopeless attitude of the 20th century post-war generation of modern Europe. It is true that this kind of play is not invention of modern time. Roman dramatist Plautus  is considered to have written this type of plays first. Next Euripides of Rome, Shakespeare of England also composed this type of tragi-comedy. But in modern time Samuel Beckett is considered the most famous absurd play writer. "Waiting for Godot"  is his most famous absurd play. in this play he has conveyed modern human beings are waiting for something that they do not know. In fact, it is realistic and absurd.Thus, an absurd play gives his readers joys and sorrows, tears and laughter. It's tone is mainly pessimistic.

comedy of manners
Comedy of manners

Q. What is "Comedy of Manners"?

Ans: A comedy is a play with happy ending and aims at making people laugh at certain follies, vanities, hypocrisies and weaknesses of people for reforming society. Comedy of manners is a comedy that deals with the behavior of people. This kind of comedy was a dominant genre of drama during the Restoration period. 

 There is a satiric tone in such comedies. The use of witty language is meant to highlight the artificial values of the people concerned. Oscar Wilde's "The Importance of Being Earnest" also belongs to this category of plays. 

 The comedy of manners is a form of comedy that satirizes the manners and affectations  of contemporary society. This type of comedy was first developed in the New Comedy period of ancient Greek comedy and is known today primarily  from fragments of writings by the Greek playwright Menander.

Some of the best known comedies of manners are those by the 17th century French playwright Mollere who satirized the hypocrisy and  pretension of the society. Some significant comedy of manners are LEcole des femmes, Tartuffe and Le Misanthrope.


what's dramatic monologue
Dramatic Monologue

Q. What is "Dramatic Monologue"?

Ans: "Mono" means 'one/single' and "logue" means 'speech'. So monologue means speech of a single person. Hence, dramatic monologue is a form of poetry where a single speaker speaks out of his dreams, desires, plans and experiences of the present, past and future before imagined listeners. The imagined listeners respond to the speech of the speaker supposedly.

 Dramatic monologue is a kind of poem in which  a single character reveals a dramatic situation. Generally, a dramatic monologue starts with a critical movement of the life of the speaker. It begins suddenly and changes  its courses now and then.

The main function of a dramatic monologue is psychoanalysis. The father and most successful writer of dramatic monologue is Robert Browning. He perfected this form of poetry. Browning's  poems like "My Last Duchess", "Andrea Del Sarto" and many others are good examples of dramatic monologue. Tennyson's "Ulysses" and Eliot's "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" are also good examples. Poets like Frost, Robinson, Pound, Lowell also wrote some good dramatic monologues.

Written by: Ayeesha Tahanee

Honours in English, NUBD

Post a Comment


  1. Describe the role of chotus in king oedipus

    1. Thank you, keep eyes in the website, we'll post it soon.