Drama is most often associated with the idea of action, this is because drama is intended for performance, drama can "bring to life" things that would ordinarily be quite 2 dimensional. When I think of drama I often think of it as a story about events in the lives of characters, but this is not always the case.
Examples of drama can be found everywhere, we can find it as written text, a piece of theatre and on our television and cinema screens. The purpose of these pieces of drama varies but they also have things in common. This is because drama does not have one definable purpose but several.
In history the theatre has been used to spread political ideas or even in some cases as propaganda. Through the stories told writers are able to put forward their own ideas. By playing on the audience's emotions the playwright can start to change the audiences perceptions of certain things and therefore start to change the way that they think about things. This is a useful skill and is one purpose of drama.
A more simpler and obvious purpose of drama is to entertain. To be entertained by drama does mean that it necessarily made you happy. It is possible to enjoy a piece of drama that made you think, or that made you cry, just as much as one that made you laugh. Playwrights want to touch their audiences in some way. By the way that the drama develops the writer can touch a number of different emotions in their audience. A skilled writer can deeply affect a person through their words.
Drama on television and in films as well as in the theatre is used to tell a story. Sometimes these stories are true and sometimes they are complete fiction. In both cases the writer feels that the story is one worth telling. To share experiences, to teach, to describe or to give some kind of moral at the end. Drama is an effective way of telling stories as it creates as sense of realism not found in the other arts. It creates a much stronger connection with its audiences and brings to life conflict and tension in a way that other things can't.