The Difference Between Poetry, Prose, Drama

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Literature is an art of writing or printed information such as novel, poem, plays which is different with magazine, newspaper or books. Another definition also states by Iwuchukwu (2008:3) who states literature is a form of human art work that is imaginative that can be presented in written or oral form in a performance. Literature usually describes the experiences, thoughts and feelings experienced by human. If we learn about literature we will find out about a person’s life more broadly and deeply whether from individual or social. There are 3 genres of literature namely poetry, drama, and prose. Each genre has a difference such as the difference in definition, form, and elements.

According to Suminto A. Sayuti (2008: 3) as cited in Anindita, dkk (2017:40), poetry is type of literary that describes experience, imaginative or emotional of the poet in the form of language expression. The same definition also comes from Ollila and Jantas (2006:1) who states poetry is a verbal or written language that tells about someone idea, feeling, or story. The characteristics of poetry that is the message contained in poetry is not conveyed directly because it is presented using figurative language (Iwuchukwu, 2008:3). Drama is types of literary work which is performed on the stage because it has characters and the characters are act. The characters of drama can be human being, animal, or abstract qualities (Iwuchukwu, 2008:3). According to Iranmanesh (2013:125), prose in general is a word that lack of literary explanation while in particular prose is a word that involves literary explanation in it. Another definition comes from Bahar (1958) as cited in Iranmanesh (2013:125) which states prose is statement or word that express feeling and emotional that tells about an accident or certain event.

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Poetry has 2 major types or forms namely narrative poetry and lyric poetry (Klarer, 1999:27-28). He adds, narrative poetry is a long poetry which includes romance or balled where the story is clearly developed and the plot is structured while lyric poetry is only focus with the event, or idea. According to Iwuchukwu (2008:66), drama has 4 types or forms namely tragedy, comedy, tragi-comedy, melodrama. According to Hornby (2005:1628), tragedy is a sad moment or situation especially about someone’s death or serious play especially when the main character dies. According to Iwuchukwu (2008:69), comedy is a performance that includes joke, fantastic story that can make the listener laugh and it shows an event/experience about someone’s real life but not but not like someone’s real life story. Tragi-comedy is the combination between tragic and comedy with the same or balance proportion in a play (Iwuchukwu, 2008:73). Melodrama is a play of how the protagonist against the antagonist character to achieve happiness in a scene (Iwuchukwu, 2008:71). According to Ate (1972) as cited in Iranmanesh (2013:125), there are 2 types or forms of prose namely narrative prose and non narrative prose. Non narrative prose includes novel, narration, stories, myth and metaphors while non narrative prose includes medical books, encyclopedia, religious books, scientific knowledge and philosophy.

According to Thompson (2006), there are 4 elements of poetry namely meter, stanza, rhyme and sound, and idea or figure of speech. Meter means syllable patterns in poetry whether stressed or unstressed. Stanza is There are 4 elements of drama namely imitation, plot, action and dialogue (Iwuchukwu:2008). Imitation in drama means copying the act of someone or somebody as realistically as possible on the stage in order to entertain people. Plot means the arrangement of the action in the story. Action means the activity which includes think, do, cry or other activity that is done by the actor in order to entertain the audience. Dialogue in drama means verbal interaction between two or more people which includes gestures, expression of the face and it should be easy to understand by the audiences. According to Rai Technology University (2004), the elements of prose are plot, setting, character, theme, point of view. Plot means the series of event that is done by the character in the story. Setting means the atmosphere, place or time of the story which occurs structured. Character means someone’s personality that can be developed in a simple or complex way. Theme is the main idea of the story that explains about the reason of why something happens in the story. Point of view is the author’s way of putting himself in the story.

Based on the explanation above, there are 3 difference between poetry, prose and drama in terms of definition, form or type, and element. Based on the definition poetry uses the figurative language while drama is performed on the stage and prose tells about an accident or certain event. Based on the form or type poetry has 2 types namely narrative and lyric poetry, while drama has 4 types namely tragedy, comedy, tragi-comedy, melodrama and prose has 2 types namely narrative and non narrative prose. Based on the element poetry has while drama has 4 elements namely imitation, plot, action, dialogue and prose has 4 elements namely plot, setting, character, theme, and point of view. 


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