8 Dramatic Situations (Part One)

For those who are studying for finals this week, I wish y’all the best on your exams. As someone who has test anxiety, finals week is always a challenge for me. Every Monday and Wednesday I’ll continue to post blogs here on my own website. I’ll be posting blogs dissecting the 36 dramatic situations over the next two weeks. This project will lead into next week’s blog schedule as well, so be prepared for several parts with this topic.

Recently, I took a break from blogging on the topics of literature and the art of writing, since I was focusing on storytelling in one of my classes this fall. I’ll discuss more about the world literature class I took this fall later this month. Feel free to follow me here on WordPress for future blogs ranging in topics like environmentalism, literature, and product reviews.
Let’s take a look at the first eight dramatic situations, as recently updated by Mike Figgis. This topic was originally written by Georges Polti in 1865. I’ve started reading Mike’s 2017 analysis and will read the original over the winter break. I’ve written some of the same notes Figgis makes in his book. While he dissects these narratives with film, they are great resources for understanding the examples he provides.

8 dramatic situations


Supplication: Begging for something earnestly.
Scenarios:
Fugitive asks for help.
Person exiled from the group, begging to rejoin and/or asks for help.
Character seeks pardon from a higher office.
Supplicant seeks pardon from a leader.
One marriage partner begs for forgiveness.

Deliverance (Rescue): Picture someone being tied to the railroad tracks and someone saves her from being run over by a train.
Scenario:
Unexpected arrival of a protector, who comes to the rescue of a distressed character.

Revenge following a crime
Killing/attempted killing of a valuable person, family member, etc.
Hot revenge: After the event, the person seeking revenge immediately goes out to get his own revenge.
Cold revenge: the person who wants revenge continues to wait, letting the revenge cool down. Possibly even delaying any action at all, or enacting forgiveness.
Scenarios:
Dishonoring of a family member (rape.sexual contact)
False accusation (lies, gossip)
Revenge of an entire gender for the crime of one; Jack the Ripper.
Revenge on an entire race for the crime of one; racism.
Revenge via Karma- fate will act the revenge at sometime.

Revenge contained within a family
Rivalry, desire, jealousy, ambition, infidelity.
This chapter was only two pages, so infidelity seems to be the main idea behind this dramatic situation.

The pursued (the fugitive)- the outsider
Scenarios:
Fugitive from justice (guilty/not guilty).
Fugitive from love.
Hero in exile, but in danger from agents of the state from which he has fled.
Hero regarded as mad or dangerous- result of false rumors by enemies; use of flashbacks.

Disaster
Scenarios:
Reversal of fortune; war.
Defeat; Invasion, overthrown organization, etc.
Natural disasters.
Love, rejection (the psychological torment)

Cruelty & Misfortune
Scenarios:
Innocent person becomes the victim
Vulnerable character is protected and then taken advantage of, assaulted, robbed.
Wounding of the heart
Being robbed of hope
Loved one loses the affections of the group
Loved one finds themselves deprived of the love of a husband/wife. The unloved is innocent.
Deprived of love for a betrayal which the partner can not forgive
Unjust punishment
Sacrifice going unnoticed
Killing of an unrecognized family member 
Protagonist recognizes something about the other and chooses not to kill.

Revolt
One leader influencing other leaders to unite against a common enemy
Factory worker seeking to improve working conditions via a union
Whistle-Blower


Stock photo used for the header photo, wheels photo, and the cover photo. Check out stock photos from the pexels website.

Want to read more literature and creativity blog posts I’ve written here on my blog? Feel free to check out any of the blogs below:

Creativity Hibernation

Motivation vs. Self-Discipline

Which dramatic situation have you used the most or least? Let’s chat in the comments below & I wish you all the best!
Cheers,
Danielle

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4 Replies to “8 Dramatic Situations (Part One)”

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