from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A play to be read rather than performed.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. drama more suitable for reading that for performing


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  • Literary term for a work written as a play or dramatic poem that is intended for private study rather than for a stage performance. English examples are Milton's Simon Agonistes (1671) and Shelley's Prometheus Unbound (1820).
    Cf. Senecan tragedy.

    September 23, 2009