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Related: genres are built of conventions - standard

The audience had seen hundreds of Westerns and no longer needs the same extensive setup for the showdown. The convention is created where, when two men face each other on the street and menacingly look at one another, you can be sure bullets will fly. These conventions include the good guy in a white hat and the bad guy in a black hat. [Jun 2006]

Related to conventional: mainstream - normal - ordinary - vanilla - ordinary - common - cliche - stereotype

Contrast: unconventional


A convention is a set of agreed, stipulated or generally accepted rules, norms, standards or criteria, often taking the form of a custom. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Convention_%28norm%29 [Mar 2006]

In genre theory

In any form of art there are conventions that may simply be expectations (for example, that paintings are rectangular) or stock devices (a comedy ends with a marriage, but a Western can end with the hero riding off into the sunset). There are generic conventions that are tied very closely to a particular genre - and may even help to define what it is.

Dramatic convention

A dramatic convention is a set of rules which both the audience and actors are familiar with and which act as a useful way of quickly signifying the nature of the action or of a character.

All forms of theatre have dramatic conventions, some of which may be unique to that particular form, such as the poses used by actors in Japanese kabuki theatre to establish a character, or the stock character of the black-cloaked, moustache twirling villain in early cinema melodrama serials.

It can also include an implausible facet of a performance required by the technical limitations or artistic nature of a production and which is accepted by the audience as part of suspension of disbelief. For example, a dramatic convention in Shakespeare is that a character can move upstage to deliver a soliloquy and will not be heard by the other characters on stage. Another dramatic convention is that characters in a musical will not react strangely to another character's abruptly bursting into song. See also fourth wall. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dramatic_convention [Jun 2006]

See also: drama

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