Chapter 2, “Foundations of the Plot: Given Circumstances,” begins the process of formalist script analysis by studying the primary structural elements of a play and determining the likeliest dramatic potentials from observations about them. Aristotle identified and prioritized a play’s fundamental structural elements as plot, character, idea, music (here called tempo-rhythm-mood), and spectacle (here called physical production). Given circumstances denote the entire set of conditions in which the play takes place, including time, place, society, economics, politics and law, culture, and spirituality—features comprising the special world of the play. The chapter concludes with a summary and exercises for a scene or short play.