I mean, why bother with automated storytelling when the job market for non-automated, bespoke storytelling is already so precarious? This book or more specifically, the English translation of this book has cast a long shadow over procedural narrative in part because it includes something of great value to people without a lot of time for reading. Polti was inspired to conduct this literary survey by an offhand quote from the Italian opera librettist Carlo Gozzi stating that there were 36 types of tragedy. To Polti, this unsupported estimate seemed on the low side and frankly unscientific; his goal in reading lots of French and foreign plays was driven by a desire for empiricism and formal proof that the literature of the theater was in fact richer than Mr. In the end, Mr.
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May 23, How do I dramatize thee? These immortal words were uttered by Georges Polti who concluded there were only 36 basic stories after studying numerous Greek, Latin and French works. Many are similar, but they all contain elements of struggle and conflict. Should you be worried about plagiarism? Storytelling has been around since the dawn of humanity. From drawings on cave walls to speech to writing, the same stories have been recycled in different ways to depict the social fabric of the times.
And storytelling will continue along the same path. There is a limit to human emotions and the number of story types that can illuminate them and our needs. It is your take on each story type that makes your story original. This is actually good news since you have a story framework in which to work. The rules of dramaturgy transgress all genres. Consider the previous example. The beauty of this framework is that it covers the majority of the human population. Hollywood loves this sort of stuff.
Even if your story is more personal, smaller and lower budget, the same rules apply because they are a precursor to addressing audience expectations. Take a deep breath and let us explore them.
Supplication asking for help Elements: a Supplicant, a Persecutor and a Power in authority, whose decision is doubtful. The Supplicant is chased, harmed or otherwise threatened by the Persecutor and begs for help from the Power in Authority. These include films about being trapped, the underdog and characters at their lowest ebb. Deliverance being rescued Elements: an Unfortunate, a Threatener, a Rescuer.
The Unfortunate is threatened in some way by the Threatener and is saved by the Rescuer. These films relate to our basic physiological need for safety and security. These films cater to our need to vent our anger and provide a resolution to our problem and to see justice done.
They are punished for this serious transgression by an Avenging Kinsman. These films play on our propensity for anger and the security, safety and social code that our families provide. Despite the wrong doing, the means justify the ends. These films include mafia, mobster films.
This caters to our need for excitement by not getting caught and our seeking of knowledge, justice and truth. Such a quest is the basis for many religions and philosophies. These stories are an outgrowth of the human ego and our ability to suffer heavy losses and emerge stronger than before. They are part of our coping mechanisms and metaphors for life as we explore the tenacity and indestructibility of the human spirit.
They relate to our need for survival and protecting our loved ones. We also experience hope as that is what helps us overcome obstacles. Harm to children tends to generate more intense emotions of anger and outrage among audiences than harm to adults.
However, the innocence of children brings us in touch with our early lives. Revolt uprising Elements: Tyrant and Conspirator The Conspirator leads or contributes to a revolt against an oppressive Tyrant. These films, such as those dealing with overthrowing an evil king or bringing down a crime boss helps us experience rebellion. These feelings are particularly apparent during adolescence which is a key stage in our quest for self identity. We experience sympathy for the oppressed and gives us a sense of achievement and controlling our destinies.
They deal with issues of maturity, identity, respect by others and self esteem. Typically an heir to the throne must undertake a perilous journey to obtain something.
Think Jason and the Argonauts. The Abducted may be rescued by a Guardian. These films help us experience emotions of fear of being forced into undesirable situations. The rescue brings us relief and safety. We also explore our need for freedom. Apart from the exhilaration of giving us a sense of control as the audience solves problems of life, we also need a sense of completion and closure. Obtaining Elements: a Solicitor and an Adversary Who is Refusing, or an Arbitrator and Opposing Parties A Solicitor requests something of the Adversary, who refuses to cooperate or, there are Opposing Parties who cannot reach agreement and so their dispute is resolved by the Arbitrator.
These films mirror our lives to varying degrees and help us deal with tension and conflict. Rivalry of Kinsmen family feud Elements: the Preferred Kinsman; the Rejected Kinsman; the Object Two relatives compete over an Object, often another person who shows more favor to the Preferred Kinsman and shows less favor to the Rejected Kinsman.
These films are typical in soaps where siblings are fighting over an inheritance or control of the family company. The level of conflict is less than in enmity of kinship. Since adultery is generally not accepted in many societies, these films deal with the perpetrator and victim of wrongdoing. They aim to explore emotions of guilt, fear, denial and remorse. The murder can be metaphorical as couples have emerged from such situations.
This helps us examine our mortality, our limits and generates anger and fear. Man has unsuccessfully been trying to control his environment since time immemorial.
Since the madman or woman has temporarily lost control over their actions, these stories help us experience empathy, sympathy and pity, thereby helping us understand our fellow man. Fatal Imprudence mistakes Elements: The Imprudent; the Victim or the Object Lost The Imprudent person loses an Object or causes harm to the Victim through unthinking imprudence, curiosity and general carelessness.
These stories serve to remind us that we are imperfect beings and are susceptible to errors, some of which can have disastrous consequences. Such stories explore the social and genetic taboos of incest in many cultures. It evokes awareness, derision, disgust and fear, but also empathy as we battle the emotional dilemma of two siblings attracted to each other, but can never be together. Thus a seemingly justified act suddenly becomes unjustified. These stories help us explore justice and the flaws of humans who act based on incorrect information.
We also experience sadness, pity and empathy for the perpetrator. These stories explore our sense of society; individuality versus plurality or the parallels of life where we must go without to receive future benefits.
These pose moral dilemmas where we are given two bad choices. These are tear-jerking stories which help us explore our social structures. These stories show human in distress and the extreme choices we make for matters of the heart. We sympathize with these people although we know that they are likely to follow. We feel the tension these stories evoke. They are driven my a sense of duty and higher good, even if it means sacrificing those we love.
We feel the agony of such choices, but understand them due to their necessity. However, in humans, the fittest may not always win if they use trickery and subterfuge. Such stories explore our propensity for jealously and our use or misuse of power. Think of the king who has his opponents killed. These stories deal with issues of betrayal, anger and trust. The afflicted may seek revenge or walk away a stronger person. These stories emerge from our desire to live free from the oppressive forces of social mores.
They explore our desire for individuality and self expression. They are discovered by the Dishonorer. Honor and moral duty are highly esteemed tenets of social order. Any breach by a relative triggers a moral dilemma among relatives and loved ones. These stories relate to impediments to unions and ultimately marriage. Obstacles can be inter-racial, inter-culture, inter-religion or inter-class to name a few These moral dilemmas relate to values, upbringing and belief systems.
Consider the backlash of certain groups at the prospect of same sex marriage. The Hater hates the Lover for this betrayal. More affairs of the heart. We are hard wired to be attracted to powerful, attractive, healthy people who can provide for us and give us viable offspring.
We either know we are in love with the wrong person, or in denial of their evil. The hater is a relative, friend of confidante of the lover and tries to interfere with the relationship after much deliberation. Ambition can relate to good fortune, a person or an object. It relates to that which we desire but is not yet within our reach. These stories relate to our need for security, safety and control. There are consequences. Man has long believed in higher powers to explain his existence.
We have sacrificed lambs to please the gods and blamed natural disasters on them if we have done wrong. These are extreme stories of the hero often not succeeding in overcoming an obstacle and ends up dead. If not dead, then shaken and wiser from the experience.
Georges Polti - The 36 Dramatic Situations
Schiller took great pains to find more, but he was unable to find even so many as Gozzi. The original French-language book was written in The list is popularized as an aid for writers, but it is also used by dramatists, storytellers and many others. Other similar lists have since been made. Supplication a persecutor; a suppliant ; a power in authority, whose decision is doubtful. The suppliant appeals to the power in authority for deliverance from the persecutor. The power in authority may be a distinct person or be merely an attribute of the persecutor, e.
36 situations dramatiques
May 23, How do I dramatize thee? These immortal words were uttered by Georges Polti who concluded there were only 36 basic stories after studying numerous Greek, Latin and French works. Many are similar, but they all contain elements of struggle and conflict. Should you be worried about plagiarism? Storytelling has been around since the dawn of humanity.