(A Bold Leader; an Object; an Adversary)

The Conflict, which forms the framework of all dramatic situations, is, in the Ninth, clearly drawn, undisguised. A clever plan, a bold attempt, sangfroid,—and victory!

A—Preparations For WarEdit

(In this class, as anciently treated, the action stops before the denouement, which it leaves to be imagined, in the perspective of enthusiastic prediction). Examples:—Aeschylus' "Nemea"; "The Council of the Argives" by Sophocles. Historic examples: the call to the Crusades; the Volunteers of '92.



Shakespeare's "Henry V."

A CombatEdit

"Glaucus Pontius," Memnon," "Phineus" and "The Phorcides" of Aeschylus.


Carrying Off a Desired Person or ObjectEdit

the "Prometheus" of Aeschylus; the "Laconian Women," by Sophocles. From fiction: the taking of the Zaimph in "Salammbo." Epic example: the second Homeric hymn (to Hermes).

Recapture of a Desired ObjectEdit

"The Victory of Arjuna," by Cantchana Atcharya; Wagner's "Parsifal" ; the re-taking of the Zaimph


Adventurous ExpeditionsEdit

Lope's "Discovery of the New World"; Aeschylus' "Prometheus Unbound"; Euripides' "Theseus"; Sophocles' "Sinon"; the "Rhesus" attributed to Euripides. Examples from romance: the usual exploits of the heroes of fairy tales; the Labors of Hercules; the majority of Jules Verne's stories.

Adventure Undertaken for the Purpose of Obtaining a Beloved WomanEdit

Sophocles' and Euripides' "CEnomaus." From fiction: "Toilers of the Sea." For the purpose of saving the honor of a lover: "La Petite Caporale" (Darlay and de Gorsse, 1909).

The Ninth Situation thus summarizes the poetry of war, of robbery, of surprise, of desperate chance,—the poetry of the clear-eyed adventurer, of man beyond the restraints of artificial civilizations, of Man in the original acceptation of the term. We find, nevertheless, hardly a single French work in this class!

Lest the reader be wearied, I refrain from enumerating, under these classes so lightly touched upon, many of the plots and complications which might be evolved from them. Methods of tracking the human game— bandit or hero,—the forces conspiring for his disaster, the conditions which make him the victim of his masters, the ways in which revolt may arise, the alternatives of the struggle in a "daring enterprise," certainly would appear to be more complex today than in earlier ages; moreover, upon these themes parts borrowed from other situations may be engrafted with remarkable ease. Even if we desire to preserve to the said themes their archaic severity, how much may yet be drawn from them! In how many ways, to cite but one example, might an Adventurous Expedition be changed by varying the motives or the object of the enterprise, the nature of the obstacles, the qualities of the hero, and the previous bearings of the three indispensable elements of the drama! "Adventurous Travels" have hardly been touched upon. And how many other classes are there which have not been!


Often has clearly drawn conflict, a clever plan and a victory.

Example: A Bridge Too far, Saving Private Ryan, Men in Black.

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