Exposition is the first part of the plot sequence in a story. The beginning of the story where the characters and setting are introduced is called the exposition. At some point when we are meeting the characters, we are introduced to a problem, or conflict that the main character has-and this will eventually create the rising action of the story.
Examples of Exposition from Literature and Film
In Star Wars, the film begins with scrolling text that explains previous events. This helps us to understand the background before we meet Luke Skywalker, the main character. The exposition continues as we learn that Luke lives with his uncle, his father is dead, and he doesn't enjoy life on a farm. When he purchases two droids and views a message about a princess in danger, the action begins to rise.
The prologue of Romeo and Juliet gives us information about the conflict between the Montague and Capulet families. Then, we meet Romeo, who is pining for Rosaline, and Juliet, who is supposed to marry Paris. Romeo and his friends decide to mask themselves and attend a party at the Capulets'-when Romeo sees Juliet, the action begins to rise.
Gone with the Wind begins before the Civil War. We meet Scarlett, a southern belle, and her friends. She is very popular with the boys, and her life seems to consist of parties and pretty dresses. When the South declares war against the Union and all of her male friends go off to battle, the action begins to rise.
The Disney movie Beauty and the Beast begins with background information about a selfish prince who was turned into a beast by a fairy. He must have someone fall in love with him before his 21st birthday. Then, we meet Belle, a young girl who lives in a nearby village-who longs for adventure. When Belle's father is lost in the woods and Belle searches for him, the action begins to rise.