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Essay, poetry, prose, drama and film in literature

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Education
Wordcount: 3901 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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This paper covers four important topics of Literature, which include: Essay, Poetry, Prose, Drama and Film. Essay is a form of writing, which can be literary-based or scientific-based. Like any other form of writing, it has its different characteristics, and also it serves for different purposes.

For example, when writing a letter to a friend, it could be said that it is a form of an essay. When applying to colleges nowadays it is mandatory for every applicant to write a so called “entrance essay”. Even the newspaper columns are designed to be written in an essay based. Essay consists of three parts: an introduction, which is the first paragraph of an essay, the body which includes several paragraphs, and the conclusion, which consist of one or more paragraphs and is structurally the last part of an essay content.

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Poetry is an ancient literary art. There are many poets who have contributed so much to enrich the literature that is being studied today. Like any other form of literature, it has many characteristics that define poetry. But unfortunately there isn’t a clear definition of what poetry is. So, different poets have expressed their thought of what they think defines poetry.

Prose in another important work of literature. It is defined to be as the epic literature that is written in lines. It is basic literature that is seen and used daily. Prose includes books, such as novels, tales, and short stories. Like any other literary work, it has different characteristics, and rules and regulations that make up the prose.

Drama is also known to be more popular during the golden age. It’s a literacy work that is written basically to entertain people, especially Kings’ Courtyard centuries before. Nowadays, well known dramas play on theaters, throughout the world.

Film is an art form of motion picture, also known as movies. Many representatives are involved to make up the film. Film has different characteristics that are known as Action films, Adventure, Comedy, Crime and Gangster, Drama, Epic/Historical, Horror, Musical, Science Fiction, and Western films.



Essay is a form of writing, which is relatively short and could be literary or non literary writing. The word essay for the first time was used be a French writer, Michele Montaigne, as a matter of fact the origin of the word essay comes from French, which means “to try” or “to attempt” to write (Musai, B. 2004).

The period when Montaigne started to write essays, even though we find some forms of essays before this period, makes us understand that essay is the newest form of writing in comparison with poetry, prose and drama.

Essay is a collection of ideas, mainly literary ideas, or a single idea, written and backed up by some supporting facts. Most of essays have pattern which they are written. English teachers use them frequently as a testing tool, but today they are also a major part in students’ entrance exam for college or University (Fleming, Grace, 2010).


As mentioned under definition, the common form of essay dates back to Montaigne, whose essays got published in 1588, although the types that we have today are derived and evolved due to the increasing needs and language expansion. From early representatives we also find an English writer, Robert Burton, although he differs on the style from Montaigne. Montaigne used essay writing as a self-discovery, more of a personal narration, whereas Burton expressed his knowledge through essay, more like a modern essay that we have today. Also we find some early representatives from England such as Sir Thomas Browne and Laurence Sterne. Some early representatives from France include also Andre Gide and Jean Cocteau (Britannica Online Encyclopedia, n.d)

We can confidentially say that essay has changed its role and purpose since its beginning. Essay has evolved from a personal story to a more detailed tool of one expressing feelings, ideas and so forth. Today essays have same pattern, use a format, and discuss a range of topics; they are used to persuade somebody of something, to narrate a story or an event, express feelings for some issues and policies and even used as a social and political criticism tool. They have evolved and become an integral part of college and University recruitments. More often than not, students are given essay assignment on topics that require a student to take a stand in very controversial issues such as abortion, global warming etc.

Types and characteristics of essay

Based on the sets of skills one has, today essay provides a form of writing for everyone and every personality. If you are a person that likes to argue, you can use an argumentative type of essay to express your feelings, opinions, thoughts. If you are gifted with descriptive skills, you can use this type of essay and colorful language to describe something.

In general, these are the types of literary essays: descriptive, narrative, evaluation and persuasive or argumentative essay.

Narrative is more of a literary type of essay, meaning it is characterized more in artistic language. The story in narrative essay most of the time is written in chronological order.

Descriptive essay could be literary or non-literary (Fleming, G. 2010). This type of essay is used to describe an object, a place, a person or an event. An example of this would be: What is a car, what is it made of, how is it put together, how long it lasts and so on.

Evaluation essay has multiple types and is mostly used in different levels of education. Some of the evaluation essays are: essay of a process or guide, comparison – contrast essay, calcification essay, cause and effect essay, conclusive essay etc.

Persuasive or argumentative essay is one of the four main types of essay. Its goal is to persuade the reader to accept, master, or act according to the ideas of the writer. This is different from the goal of narrative essay which is that reader tries to understand the author’s ideas. In this type of essay, writer is required to back up his ideas with statistics or other proofs to convince the reader of things he is writing are correct (Musai, B. 2004).

There are also non-literary types of essays such as visual arts, music, film and photography etc.

The general format of essay is: introduction which is made of three to four sentences; body of the essay that can have multiple paragraphs and conclusion (Lilly, M. 2006).

In general, essay is different from other literary writings. It is somewhat similar to prose because it is written in lines. Sometimes it could also be similar to prose in content especially narrative and descriptive essays. The difference between the essay and the narration is that narration contains more figurative expressions, whereas essay contains facts and supporting arguments. This also concludes that essay differs a lot with poem and drama. However, in contrary to other literary and non-literary forms, essay is written for multiple purposes and different topics. Today it is written in different educational levels, hiring purposes, in daily paper etc.



The word Poetry derives from a Greek word poiesis, which means in a “making”. Poetry is a unique art of literacy, but it doesn’t have a clear definition of what it is. It is said that poetry uses a fictional plot, a specialized language, and it is written in a special form (style). When writing poems, authors try to express their thoughts in less space using that “specialized language”, not compare to novels and short stories that use much more space.

Poetry is an ancient art of literacy, before people use to carve poetry in the caves, and that is known to exist long before. There are many poets, and uncountable written poems thought the time, but there isn’t a clear definition of what poetry is. Although, many poets have their “own” definition of poetry. For example Paul Engle definition of poetry is: “Poetry is boned with ideas, nerved and blooded with emotions, all held together by the delicate, tough skin of words (Poetry America, 2009) by Paul Engle. Another quote by Aristotle: “Poetry is more philosophical and of higher value than history; for poetry tends to express the universal, history the particular”(Poetry America, 2009).

Even though it is difficult to define poetry, most people are able to recognize it when they see it. It is worth remembering that poetry especially in the form of the song is one of the oldest forms of artistic expression, it is much older than prose and is seems to originate in a human impulse that reached for expression in joy, grief, doubt, hope, loneliness, love, etc. For example, the National Anthems are poems, that are turned into songs or the Anthem that express so much feeling, about joy, victory of being proud of their heroes and their Nation.


There are many well known Poets thought the world, but to be represented in this paper two preferred once are chosen: Robert Frost and Emily Dickinson. Both are American Poets, whose art of poetry is well known. They have contributed so much to the American literature and have enriched it with their creativity. Robert Frost has written many poems, but his poems are well know, one of which is “Stopping by woods on a Snowy Evening” (Academy of American Poets, 2009). Emily Dickenson is one of the most famous female poets in American literature. She has written close to 2000 poems, and her poems were numbered. On of her many poems is called: “A Bird came down the walk (328) (Academy of American Poets, 2009).

Differences between Poetry and Drama:

The Poetry and Drama are different in many ways. Drama is presented to the public as an entertainment, either telling a story which the author is not physically there, but it is told though different other people, or actors. Whereas poetry is also recited by other people besides from the poet himself/herself. Sometimes is it also played in the stage too, through songs.

Characteristics of Poetry:

There are many characteristics of poetry, the main ones are Lyrical poetry and Narrative poetry (Lethbridge & Mildroft, 2003). Lyrical poetry are short, non-narrative poems, which include subcategories, and one of them is the Sonnet, which is written in fourteen lines (Lethbridge & Mildroft, 2003). The Narrative poetry is a form of poetry that tells stories through it, for example love stories, tragedies etc. Other forms of poetry are written in four lines, which are known as stanza. Stanza is used more often in poetry, by many Albanian poets as well as poets throughout the world.



Prose is a type of epic literature that is written in lines. Usually sentences in prose continuous in that line, not in another one. Some authors (writers) say that writing prose is the best form of writing, because words are in their best order.

Sometimes we wonder what does the word PROSE means. The word “prose” comes from another similar Latin word that is PROSA and it is used to describe facts or anybody’s thoughts.


There are many well known prose writers but we mention two or three of them, like Shakespeare, Virgina Wolf, Henry Fielding etc. Shakespeare is one of the most famous writer, he is known with his dramas like: Romeo & Juliet, Macbeth etc. Virginia Woolf is the one who presents a new style of writing in Prose through the events, such as “Stream of Consciousness”, and Henry Fielding who gives another direction of prose writing.

Differences between prose and poetry

There are some differences between prose and poetry. We can say that prose is easier to understand because unlike prose for poetry, we can explain prose with our words. Another difference is that in prose it doesn’t matter if it rhymes or not. There are a lot of differences between prose and poetry but despite this sometime it is difficult to note which one is prose and which one is poetry (Rrahmani, Z., 1999).

Differences between prose and drama

Expect the differences between prose and poetry there are some differences between prose and drama. In the prose the author is the one that describes characters and settings, but in the drama there are actors and actresses that play on it.

Characteristics of prose

There are two basic kinds of prose: elementary forms and composed forms.

(Rrahmani, Z., 1999).

In the elementary form there are: Legend, Myth, Fairy tales, and in the composed forms there are: Novel, novelette, Tale (Rrahmani, Z., 1999).

Elementary forms

The word Legend comes from Latin word that means something that is needed to be read. That tells a story which can be real but which can contain other decorative elements. Myth is Greek word that has a lot of meanings like: tale, language, speaking etc. It talks about tribes, their lives and the origin of world. Fairy Tale is another kind of elementary literature form and it is wordy creation that combines real and fantastic motives (Rrahmani, Z., 1999).

Composed forms

Novel is large type of prose and the word roman comes from Latin word lingua romana.

Novel was read by different social layers. Word novelette means something new, that comes from Latin Word ” novelus”. Novelette contains extraordinary motives but it doesn’t mean that novel avoid other events from daily life. Novelette contains some structure elements like: small number of characters, interlacing between real and fantastic.

Tale is a short type of prose, this type comes from fairy tales and legends. In tale there are reflected some important side of reality (Rrahmani, Z., 1999).



The general term “DRAMA” (Classical Greek: δρᾶμα, dráma meaning action) (Wikipedia, 2009) is understood to be a composition literary, which is written to be represented in theaters. For that reason authors consider its solid rules, without their application drama can’t be successful in stage.

At drama devoid the confession and description, whereas all the text surrender via dialogue and monologue. Drama differs considerably from poetry or narrative because drama it is usually written to be performed in stage by actors. Aside from the text that actors will express, didaskaliet are also a component of drama, wherewith characterizes the view of scene, personages doings and demenaunors, the noises that are going to be heard etc., which usually puts in brackets.

Classic drama (Greek and roman) was written in verse and was played in amphitheaters, some of them are still saved (for example in Butrint, which was Greek colony).

Classic drama have had a solid construction, they were count by strong rules, so its composition necessarily traversed in those phases: exhibition, interlacement, culmination, vicissitude and solution. A drama usually separate in small components, which are called acts, so we have dramas with five acts, three acts, one act etc., meanwhile smaller unit is scene, which hits every actors entrance and exit in stage. Another feature of classic drama was oneness of the place (the event had to came off in one place), oneness of the time (the event held out twenty-four hours) and oneness of the doings (the event didn’t have a break).

As every drama flow by a conflict, which make a specific language, more dynamic, more emotional, not usual. Modern drama arrived to bring in scene the man, life and random language (Culler, 1997).

Characteristics of the drama

Until the18th century tragedy and comedy were the main kinds, but later the drama was displayed, which then took the dominant role.


In the ancient time handled the destiny of the kings and demigods. The affairs which civilized were unusual and big. The language of the drama wasn’t daily, it style was high so just Kings and Queens and the people of the court could understand it. Later on the characters of the tragedy became the big historical characters. The main feature of the tragedy is that its conflict ends necessarily with the hero’s death.

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(In Greek komo – convivial and od – song) is a dramatic work (Wikipedia, 2009). Since antique comedy attended with usual people and usual events, which had a happy ends. As tragedy designed to concuss with its tragic end, comedy designed to make you laugh. Comedy was very open divide its designed thematic, divide its yoked characters and divide its way of civilizing. From the roman authors disunited Plaut and Terenci than Shakespeare in England, Molier in France, Gogol in Russia, etc.

There are many centuries that dominate the writing of drama, which is written in prose, which doesn’t have solid rules anymore like classic creations, which has a much wider gamut of the thematic and has an unlimited chance to choose the characters. It design man’s destiny, who is confronted with different harnesses, who collides with the fellowship and pass into the tragic and comic situates at the same time. After the technology revolution, from drama some new styles of art appeared, which are much more famous in all over the world, like radiodrama, television drama and movie.



Film is an art form of motion pictures, also known as movies. Films/movies are shown in cinemas, or movie theaters, where people gather to see them. Film is a form of entertainment which has grown into a huge business worldwide nowadays. The first motion picture ever made is known to be “The Horse In Motion” which dates back in the 1878 (Associated Content Inc., 2010). Further more, there isn’t an exact answer when the first movies was made, because back then the technology was not as advanced as it is now. But the film technology has improved throughout the years, the first movies, were without sounds, and without colors, and now there are 3D movies, which are said to be advanced.


First of all film representatives are considered the writes, those of short stories, Novels, Fictions, Fairytales etc. Then there are people who are part of making the film, which are known as the screenwriters, actors/actresses, film crew, film director(s), experimental film makers, movie studios, and finally film critics (Knowledgerush, 2009).

Difference between Drama and Film:

The difference between drama and film isn’t much different, except the Drama is performed in from of an audience, whereas film is recorded and then shown to the audience. At the end they have the same idea, it is an art of entertainment and also a way to educate people though different plays, or shows and also different films.

Characteristics of Film:

There are different characteristics of Film/movie, for example: Action films are those that have in it battles, fighting’s, explosions, fires, basically that show a lot of action. As everyone knows that “The James Bond films” are action films. Adventure films are films that have to do with expeditions, trying new things, exploration of near and far away lands, such as the quest to find the hidden treasure, for example the movies “National Treasure”. Comedy Films are films that make the audience laugh while telling a story. Crime and Gangster Films are films that have to do with murders, and generally with people that don’t obey the law. For example “The Law and Order” series. Drama films, are the once that have to do with romance, romantically tragedies etc (American Movies Classics Company, 2009).

Epic/Historical Films are based on historical events, on war, or on heroic figure for example the Albanian heroic figure is made into a film known as “The Scanderbeg.” Horror films are basically films that are made to terrify the audience, at the same time to entertain them. Musicals (dance) films are films that have lots of dancing and singing in it. A well know musical movie called “The Sound of Music.” Science fiction films are those that have aliens, the ones that are well known are “The Star War” series. And finally the Western film, are generally known as the American cowboy movies, with Indians, guns, horses etc (American Movies Classics Company, ©2009).


To conclude of what is mentioned above about Essay, Poetry, Prose, Drama and Film, it is important to include that they have enriched literature that is known to us today. These subcategories of literature are all connected to one another. They are a written art, which has improved people’s knowledge. Everything that is known to mankind, about its history it is written through essays, poetry, prose, drama and also showed in motion picture. Even though each of them has different characteristics, they all have one purpose that is to communicate between people.


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2. American Movies Classics Company, “Main Film Genres” (©2009) Retrieved 02/01/10 from http://www.filmsite.org/genres.html

3. Britannica Online Encyclopedia, (n.d.). Essay Types. Retrieved 21/12/2009 from:

4. Culler, J. (1997) Literary Theory. A Very Short Introduction (pp. 97-100). Oxford University Press Inc. New York

5. First Movie Ever Made: A History of Film Firsts (©2010) Retrieved 02/01/10 from http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/461209/the_first_movie_ever_made_a_history.html

6. Fleming, G. (©2010). How to write a five-paragraph essay. Retrieved 21/12/2009 from:

7. Knowledgerusg (©2009) Retrieved 02/01/2010 from


8. Lethbridge, S., & Mildorf, J. (©2003) Basics of English Studies: An Introductory course for students of literary studies in English. Version 12/03, Poetry (pgs. 142-173)

9. Lilly, M. (2006, February). A Basic Essay Format. Retrieved 21/12/2009 from http://www2.mcdaniel.edu/English/writingcenter/essayformat.htm

10. Musai, B. (2004). Si te shkruajm ese. Tirane: Cendra per arsim demokratik (p.15-25).

11. Poetry America (n.d) http://www.poetryamerica.com retrieved 21/12/2009 from: http://www.poetryamerica.com/poetry_quotes.asp

12. Rrahmani, Z. (1999) Teoria e Letersise: Book for high school students. Prose


13. Wikipedia, The free encyclopedia (2009, December). Drama. Retrieved 21/12/2009 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drama


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