One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
treated as singular or plural The characters of a play, novel, or narrative.
persona, person, role, partView synonyms
- ‘I would like to write a brief synopsis of the plot, but whereas many authors concentrate on a handful of major characters, Erikson has a dramatis personae that runs to five pages.’
- ‘Its social attitudes were surprisingly conventional, granted the politically volatile climate of opinion, and its dramatis personae were drawn largely from the gentry and professional classes.’
- ‘When he further explained the names painted the characters and habits of the dramatis personae, I and the rest of the form were hooked.’
- ‘The film lays out the characters, gives you the dramatis personae, which we should have probably included in the book.’
- ‘Baker describes Maiden in the list of dramatis personae as ‘a Nice-Fellow, that values himself upon his Effeminacies’.’
- ‘Putting together preliminary notes for his dramatis personae, Trollope jotted down the following thumbnail sketches.’
- ‘In fables' classic form the dramatis personae are animals who represent the characteristics of humans.’
- ‘It is hard to assess performances when the dramatis personae are so unpersonable, unbelievable, and, above all, unmemorable.’
- ‘Nightclub owner Harry Starks is viewed through the eyes of four different dramatis personae - an actress, a low-life drug dealer, an academic and a Tory aristocrat.’
- ‘Outside of his main characters, most of King's dramatis personae tend to be little more than cliches and stereotypes who exist only to move the story forward.’
- ‘Included in the dramatis personae is the character of The Old Man.’
- ‘To keep track of them all, Crewdson offers an all too necessary list of dramatis personae at the end of the book.’
- ‘And interwoven between all these are Colley's captives, a dramatis personae whose names and narratives gradually imprint themselves upon the reader as in a good novel.’
- ‘His edition also regularized the entrances and exits of characters and attached a dramatis personae to each play for the first time.’
- ‘The plot only exists to present dramatis personae with choices; character is what can be known about those people from the choices that they make.’
- ‘In fact, all of the dramatis personae are sketched as archetypes rather than fully developed characters - the noble and loyal warrior, the scheming courtesan, etc.’
- ‘Soderbergh cuts artfully back and forth between three interrelated story lines, with very different settings and very different dramatis personae.’
- ‘Thomas of Woodstock or Richard the Second, Part One is an anonymous and untitled Elizabethan manuscript play of some 2989 lines, missing a front cover, list of dramatis personae and an unknown number of final pages.’
- ‘Then Prospero puts Miranda, a figure of the spectator, to sleep while he calls upon his instrument, Ariel, described in the dramatis personae simply as an airy spirit.’
- ‘It was inevitable that focus would be made on the dramatis personae of that scene.’
- ‘Finally a minor gripe: There are very useful summaries of events and dramatis personae at the beginning of each chapter, but some curious choices are made.’
Mid 18th century: from Latin, literally ‘persons of the drama’.
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