What is the difference between a drama a short story And Play?

 What is the difference between drama, short story, and play?

difference between a drama a short story And Play
difference between a drama a short story And Play

Drama and Play are two words that are often confused when it comes to their usage and meanings. Strictly speaking, there is some difference between the two words. 

The word ‘drama’ is used in the sense of ‘theater’. On the other hand, the word ‘play’ is used in the sense of a literary composition’. 

The difference is that a drama is a type of play. A movie or TV show can also be a drama but are not plays. Some other types of plays are musical, comedy, Shakespearean, and biopic. 

A play is a dramatic performance, as on stage, and a drama is a composition in prose or verse presenting in dialogue or pantomime a story involving conflict or contrast of character.

The most significant difference between these two entities is that drama refers to a form of written literature that is intended for performance while play refers to a theatrical performance.

 In simple words, a drama is to be read and a play is to be seen. However, different people might give different interpretations of what they read. This is to say, in a drama, we only read the dialogues and stage directions; we often imagine the performance in our minds. But in a play, the audience gets to see the story enacted.

 Here we do not have to imagine the emotions of the characters, sound and light effects or background settings. In addition, the play might present a different interpretation from what we understood from reading the drama. This difference could be even made from the subtlest change of tone, mood, or gesture. It can be said that a play gives artists’ interpretation of the drama.

Difference Between Play and short story & Drama!

Drama is a genre of literature, which is basically the script, and the actors play the role of different characters to tell the story to the viewers and facilitate interpretation. It is often designed and developed for theatrical portrayal. Drama is one of the active forms of literature, which tends to inform, educate and entertain the audience at the same time.

Drama is often juxtaposed with a play. Play implies a piece of literature, which is written in single or multiple acts, consisting of different scenes in each act.

The primary difference between play and drama is that play is a dramatic performance on the stage, whereas drama is a literary composition in the form of prose or verse, that portrays dialogue showing conflict which the main character attempts to resolve.

Basic Comparison Play And Drama

THIS meaning play implies a dramatic work that includes dialogue amidst the characters and performed in a theater. Drama is a literary composition, developed with an aim of a theater performance, in front of the audience.

Definition of Play

Play can be understood as the dramatic work, characterized// by direct interaction between the characters. It is designed for theatrical performance, which is arranged into dialogue, acts, and scenes. It is meant for a particular audience, i.e. it can be a stage play, screenplay, or radio play.

The feelings, emotions, and ideas of the writer are presented by way of characters. In order to increase the understanding of the viewers, the playwright makes use of various dramatic elements.

The main elements of a play are plot, characters, dialogue, setting, conflict, and resolution. The pattern found in the plot of the play is – Rising Action, which is followed by a Climax, and finally, Falling Action takes place.

It is composed of a single act or a number of acts, wherein each act is further divided into the scene. In each scene, various characters come on or off the stage, so as to play their respective roles and speak their lines. In a play, the main character is the protagonist, while the opposing character is an antagonist.

Definition of Drama

Drama refers to a type of fictional or non-fictional work, often presented through performance and dialogue in a theatre, stage, radio, or television, in the form of play, mime, opera, ballet, and so forth. It is a literary composition, written as prose or poetry, to act a story or to portray a character, having conflict, tension, and various other types of emotions.

It is also otherwise referred to as ‘staged art’. It is a literary piece that is designed for a theatre performance, wherein the different characters are assigned the roles and they perform their respective roles when the action is presented on the stage.

The characters may include human beings, spiritual beings, animals, etc. There are four basic elements of drama – imitation, plot, action, and dialogue.

Types of Drama

Comedy: Drama which has humor and sarcasm, is comedy. The components of comedy are clever wordplay, lighthearted tone, happy ending, offbeat characters, comical misunderstanding, and so forth.

Tragedy: The type of drama having a sad ending or tragic events, such as disaster, pain, or even death of the main character is called a tragedy.

Tragicomedy: It is the hybrid form of tragedy and comedy. It has a serious script, which is demonstrated in a humorous manner. It is characterized by an ambiguous theme and it neither has a happy ending nor a comical one.

Farce: An extremely comic dramatic work of fiction that uses ridiculous yet amusing behavior. It is characterized by non-sensical and unrealistic situations.

Opera: A dramatic work in which speaking is replaced with singing or instrumental accompaniment is called opera.

Melodrama: Melodrama, as the name suggests, is the exciting dramatic composition of overstated characters and sensational events that aim to call for the senses of the viewers.

Musical Drama: A musical drama is one in which the dramatist combines songs, dialogue, acting, and dance, to narrate the story.

Key Differences Between Play and Drama

Upcoming points will explain to you the differences between drama and play:

Play refers to a written composition, which is meant to be performed on stage and asks to be imagined by the audience. On the other hand, drama implies the depiction of fictional or non-fictional work, by way of acting of the written script.

The artist who writes the drama or performs in it is called a dramatist whereas the play is written by playwrights.

The playwright does not narrate the story, rather the audience interprets the story as the characters interact and perform on the stage. As against, the drama is presented in dialogue, wherein the characters talk to themselves and respond to the events accordingly.

Plays are written for a reading audience, but drama needs to be transformed into some other form, i.e. theatre, to present the idea.

In a play, there is no direct interaction between the audience and playwright, but in the case of drama direct interaction between dramatist and audience is there.


In a nutshell, the drama is a distinct and concrete genre of literature, that demonstrates life experience pragmatically to the viewers. On the other hand, a play is a subset of drama, which is used to represent actual or imaginary occurrences.


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