What are the differences and similarities between drama, poetry, and short story.

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gpane eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are both significant differences and similarities between these three types of literature. Drama, or playwriting, and poetry are some of the oldest types of literature known and both have a vital oral component: they are both meant to be heard and not just written. Therefore these forms are much concerned with the actual sound of words, the pace, the rhythm, and so on. Plays have a story/plot that has to be acted out and spoken by actors on stage; dialogue is therefore a central aspect of drama.

Poetry can also sometimes tell a story, in which case it is known as narrative poetry; two important forms of narrative poetry are the epic (common to ancient literature all over the world) and the ballad. More often, however, poetry does not tell a story but rather concentrates on evoking feelings and images. Poetry, of all literary forms is generally the most concerned with how language works in order to achieve a certain effect, and to this end liberally employs such literary devices as alliteration, onomatopoeia, word-play, metaphor, and so on. Of course, such devices are also used in other literary forms, but they are generally the most closely associated with poetry.

To turn to the short story, it should first of all be noted that in the broadest sense the term 'short story' can include any type of brief narrative such as the anecdote and the fable, both of which have long histories and probably were spoken aloud originally, akin to poetry and drama. However the short story as a distinct art form developed much later than poetry and drama, and generally lacks the oral aspect of these earlier forms. Aside from this, it has some traits in common with both: obviously it tells a story, and dialogue between characters can be of great importance, as in drama. However, some short stories concentrate more on feelings, thoughts, impressions, and images than on actual plot or dialogue; in this way the short story can resemble a lot of poetry.

favoritethings eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Drama and poetry are both originally intended to be read aloud. With drama, dialogue is typical, and the plot is often developed via dramatic irony meant to build tension until the revelation of some truth or the conflict is resolved. Dramatic irony is created when the audience knows more than the character, and, with its resolution, the audience often experiences a kind of pleasing catharsis, a purging of that tension the irony created. While poetry often lacks a "plot" in the typical sense, it too is meant to be spoken aloud. In addition to the rhythm that characterizes most poetry, so do sound devices such as alliteration, consonance, assonance, onomatopoeia, rhyme, and refrain. Poetry, like drama, is meant to be heard.

Short stories differ from drama and poetry in this way. They aren't necessarily meant to be heard, though they are designed to be read in one sitting. They are not as condensed, so to speak, as poetry is, but they do provide pleasure in that they provide a complete tale, with a conflict and resolution, and can be completed in a relatively short amount of time.

stolperia eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Drama usually indicates a piece of writing that is intended to be acted out - a performance on a stage of some sort with people acting as the characters in the story, allowing an audience to see the action unfold.

Poetry is frequently written with a particular awareness of the sound of the language being used. Poetry may or may not rhyme but the rhythm of the language will be of central importance and the author may have spent extra time working to achieve carefully crafted, vivid word pictures.

Short stories are just that - stories that are of a length that would ideally allow them to be read from start to finish in one sitting.

These can overlap - poetry can be presented as a dramatic play; a short story may be written in poetic form, etc. The three formats are different but not exclusive types of literature, presenting stories in three different formats.

angels9286 | Student

                                                                                                                                         poetry is language artfully arranged using tools of sound, rhythm, shape of lines, image and metaphor to create an emotional response in the reader. David St.John says poetry creates empathy with that which is other.  Poems can be narrative (tell a story) and well-wriiten prose can be poetry.

A short story is a work of fiction that is usually written in prose, often in narrative format. This format tends to be more pointed than longer works of fiction, such as novellas (in the 20th and 21st century sense) and novels.

Drama is the specific mode of fiction represented in performance.A prose or verse composition, especially one telling a serious story, that is intended for representation by actors impersonating the characters and performing the dialogue and action.