Today we as a class discussed the idea of how Shakespeare crafted his plays into 5 Acts. Those acts filled a format that many movies and plays follow still to this day.
Act I: The introduction, exposition of the play and also a chance to meet the main characters at a glance
Act II: Plot and Character development allows us to connect and identify with theme and characteristics central to the rest of the play
Act III: Rising action takes the play right to its Climax or Apex. This is also when the story traditionally has its what I refer to as the "oh oh" moment. This is when the reader or watcher can identify the conflict or when they might secretly whisper to the actor in the play "I wouldn't do that." It's when the pieces really start to fall in place, the action and drama build, and the reader knows more than the character. Commercial Break Time!
Act IV: falling action has the conflict starting to resolve. Some problems are still very present but one can see how characters will probably solve their issues.
Act V: conclusion or resolution may result in humor, happy endings or even all out misery for all involved but the story is ending either way. Often much like he would exposition the intro, Shakespeare would often summarize a theme at the end for those paying too little attention.
Hope this helps and see you all in class tomorrow when we continue The Taming of the Shrew.