(The Preferred Kinsman; the Rejected Kinsman; the Object)

This situation seems, at first glance, to present ten times the attraction of the preceding. Does not Love, as well as Jealousy, augment its effect? Here the charms of the Beloved shine amid the blood of battles fought for her sake. What startled hesitancies, what perplexities are hers; what fears of avowing a preference, lest pitiless rage be unchained!

Yes, the Beloved one, the "Object"—to use the philosophic name applied to her in the seventeenth century —will here be added to our list of characters. But . . . the Common Parent, even if he does not disappear, must lose the greater part of his importance; the Instigators will pale and vanish in the central radiance of the fair Object. Doubtless the "love scenes" will please, by their contrast to the violence of the play; but the dramatic purist may raise his brows, and find—perhaps—these turtle-dove interludes a trifle colorless when set in the crimson frame-work of fratricide.

Furthermore, there persists in the psychologist's mind the idea that Rivalry, in such a struggle, is no more than a pretext, the mask of a darker, more ancient hatred, a physiological antipathy, one might say, derived from the parents. Two brothers, two near relatives, do not proceed, on account of a woman,to kill each other, unless predisposed. Now, if we thus reduce the motive to a mere pretext, the Object at once pales and diminishes in importance, and we find ourselves returning to the Thirteenth Situation.

Is the Fourteenth, then, limited to but one class, a mere derivative of the preceding? No; it possesses, fortunately, some germs of savagery which permit of its development in several directions. Through them it may trend upon "Murderous Adultery," "Adultery Threatened," and especially upon "Crimes of Love" (incests, etc). Its true form and value may be ascertained by throwing these new tendencies into relief.


Malicious Rivalry of a BrotherEdit

"Britannicus"; "Les Maucroix" by Delpit (the Common Parent here gives place to a pair of ex-rivals, who become almost the Instigators); "Boislaurier" (Richard, 1884). From fiction: "Pierre et Jean," by de Maupassant. Case in which the rivalry is without hatred: "1812" (Nigond, 1910).

Malicious Rivalry of Two BrothersEdit

"Agathocle," "Don Pedre," Adelaide du Guesclin" and "Amelie," all by Voltaire, who dreamed of carving a kingdom all his own, from this sub-class of a single situation.

Rivalry of Two Brothers, With Adultery on the Part of OneEdit

"Pelleas et Melisande" by Maeterlinck.

Rivalry of SistersEdit

"La Souris" (Pailleron, 1887); "L'Enchantement" (Bataille, 1900); "Le Demon du Foyer" (G. Sand). Of aunt and niece: "Le Risque" (Coolus, 1909).


Rivalry of Father and Son, for an Unmarried WomanEdit

Metastasio's "Antigone"; "Les Fossiles" (F. de Curel); "La Massiere" (Lemaitre, 1905); "La Dette" (Trarieux, 1909; "Papa" (de Flers and de Caillavet, 1911); Racine's "Mithridate," in which the rivalry is triple, between the father and each of the sons, and between the two sons. Partial example: the beginning of Dumas' "Pere Prodigue."

Rivalry of Father and Son, for a Married WomanEdit

"Le Vieil Homme" (Porto-Riche, 1911).

Case Similar to the Two Foregoing, But in Which the Object is Already the Wife of the Father.Edit

(This goes beyond adultery, and tends to result in incest, but the purity of the passion preserves, for dramatic effect, a fine distinction between this subclass and Situation XXVI):—Euripides' "Phenix"; (a concubine is here the object of rivalry); Schiller's "Don Carlos"; Alfieri's "Philip II."

Rivalry of Mother and DaughterEdit

"L'Autre Danger" (Donnay, 1902).

C—Rivalry of CousinsEdit

(which in reality falls into the following class):—"The Two Noble Kinsmen," by Beaumont and Fletcher.

D—Rivalry of FriendsEdit

Shakespeare's "Two Gentlemen of Verona"; "Aimer sans Savoir Qui" by Lope de Vega; Lessing's "Damon"; "Le Coeur a ses Raisons" (de Flers and de Caillavet, 1902); "Une Femme Passa" (Coolus, 1910)


This situation can lead to Murderous Adultery, Adultery Threatened, or Crimes of Love.

Example: Legends of the Fall.

Rivals can have a broad range of emotions towards one another. Although they compete, they may also be friends. They may also be enemies or be indifferent to one another. It is common in competitions to reduce the other party to an insensate object which can consequently be abused without human concern.

Rivals often compete over a scarce resource, often the affections and attention of another, from the mother of siblings to a boy being fought over by two women who might otherwise be friends. The danger and sad fact of rivalry is that it can turn sour and friends may become bitter enemies.

Rivalry creates triangular relationships and the Drama Triangle or other Games can ensue.

Rivalry in a story is less vicious than enmity and is thus easier in many ways to watch and accept -- depending on what level of excitement you are seeking.

As with other stories, seeing familiar patterns being played out helps us accept and give meaning to similar patterns in our own lives.

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