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The Thirty-seven Dramatic Situations 1-6

1. SUPPLICATION (To humbly petition). Elements: a persecutor, a humble petitioner, and a power in authority whose decision is doubtful.
A1 Fugitives imploring the powerful for help against their enemies.

A2 Assistance implored for the performance of a pious duty which has been forbidden.

A3 Appeals for refuge in which to die.

B1 Hospitality besought by the shipwrecked.

B2 Charity entreated by those cast off by their own people, whom they have disgraced.

B3 Expiation: the seeking of pardon, healing or deliverance.

B4 The surrender of a corpse, or relic, solicited.

C1 Supplication of the powerful for those dear to the suppliant.

C2 Supplication to a relative in behalf of another relative.

C3 Supplication to a mother's lover, in her behalf.

2. DELIVERANCE. Elements: an unfortunate, a threatener, a rescuer.
A Appearance of a rescuer to the condemned. B1 A parent replaced on the throne by his children.

B2 Rescue by friends, or by strangers grateful for benefits or hospitality.

3. CRIME PUNISHED BY VENGEANCE. Elements: an avenger and a criminal.
A1 The avenging of a slain parent or ancestor.

A2 The avenging of a slain child or descendant.

A3 Vengeance for a child dishonored.

A4 The avenging of a slain wife or husband.

A5 Vengeance for the dishonor, or the attempted dishonoring, of a wife.

A6 Vengeance for a mistress slain.

A7 Vengeance for a slain or injured friend.

A8 Vengeance for a sister seduced.

B1 Vengeance for intentional injury or spoilation.

B2 Vengeance for having been dispoiled during absence.

B3 Revenge for an attempted slaying.

B4 Revenge for a false accusation.

B5 Vengeance for violation.

B6 Vengeance for having been robbed of one's own.

B7 Revenge upon a whole sex for a deception by one.

C Professional pursuit of criminals.
4. VENGEANCE TAKEN FOR KINDRED UPON KINDRED. Elements: Avenging kinsman, guilty kinsman, remembrance of the victim, a relative of both.
A1 A father's death avenged upon a mother.

A2 A mother avenged upon a father.

B A brother's death avenged upon a son. C A father's death avenged upon a husband. D A husband's death avenged upon a father.
5. PURSUIT. Elements: Punishment and fugitive.
A Fugitives from justice pursued for brigandage, political offenses, etc. B Pursued for a fault of love. C A hero struggling against a power. D A pseudo-madman struggling against an Iago-like alienist.
6. DISASTER. Elements: A vanquished power, a victorious enemy or a messenger.
A1 Defeat suffered.

A2 A fatherland destroyed.

A3 The fall of humanity.

A4 A natural catastrophe.

B A monarch overthrown. C1 Ingratitude suffered.

C2 The suffering of unjust punishment or enmity.

C3 An outrage suffered.

D1 Abandonment by a lover or a husband.

D2 Children lost by their parents.

37 Dramatic Situations | 1-6 | 7-12 | 13-18 | 19-24 | 25-30 | 31-37

Cosmic Thoughts | Oblique Strategies

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Last update 15 November 1999