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There are three major differences between these two literary types. First, as Aristotle points out, the narration differs, in prose, there can be multiple narrators, including the omniscient narrator, while drama has no narrator. Secondly, the dramatic text requires an “imitation of an action” like a recipe requires cooking: that is, it is designed to be transformed into stage language, proxemics, costume, action, etc.—while the short story is verbal and descriptive. The third important difference is in the dialogue; in drama, the speech-act generates all the action, while in the short story, there can be descriptions of the mise-en-scene, internal musings of the characters’ reactions, etc. (of course, the dramatic text includes “stage directions” and the short story includes dialogue, but the distinction is still valid.) Both these literary forms allow such linguistic features as metaphor, meter, etc., but these three “literary elements” – narrator, imitation, and dialogue – distinguish their differences.
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