(A Solicitor and an Adversary Who Is Refusing, or an Arbitrator and Opposing Parties.)

Diplomacy and eloquence here come into play. An end is to be attained, an object to be gained. What interests may not be put at stake, what weighty arguments or influences removed, what intermediaries or disguises may be used to transform anger into benevolence, rancor into renouncement; to put the Despoiler in the place of the Despoiled ? What mines may be sprung, what counter-mines discovered!—what unexpected revolts of submissive instruments! This dialectic contest which arises between reason and passion, sometimes subtle and persuasive, sometimes forceful and violent, provides a fine situation, as natural as it is original.

A—Efforts to Obtain an Object by Ruse or ForceEdit

the "Philoctetes" of Aeschylus, of Sophocles and of Euripides; the reclamation of the Thebans in "OHdipus at Colonus"; "The Minister's Ring," by Vishakadatta.

Endeavor by Means of Persuasive Eloquence AloneEdit

"The Desert Isle," by Metastasio; the father's attitude in "Le Fils Naturel" (Dumas), to which Ruse is soon afterward added; Scene 2 of Act V of Shakespeare's "Coriolanus."

Eloquence With an ArbitratorEdit

"The Judgment of Arms," by Aeschylus; "Helen Reclaimed," by Sophocles.

One of the cases unused in the theater, notwithstanding its frequency, is Temptation, already introduced as a part of the preceding situation. The irritated adversary is here the Defiant; the solicitor, now the Tempter, has undertaken an unusual negotiation, one for the obtaining of an object which nothing can persuade the owner to part with; consequently the aim must be, gently, little by little, to bewilder, charm or stupefy him. Eternal role of woman toward man! —and of how many things toward the project of being a man! Does it not call to mind the hieratic attitude of the Christian toward Satan, as Flaubert has illuminated it, with a thousand sparkling lights, in his "Temptation of Saint Anthony?"


When one person wants another to do or provide something but the second refuses, a tension arises between the people involved. This interpersonal conflict can be the basis of many stories.

Such conflicts are common in our daily lives and we recognize ourselves in stories such as where those who have refuse to give to those who do not.

Where physical conflict is impossible or undesirable, the parties may turn to someone else to help resolve the situations. For this third person, arbitration is only one of ten possible roles. This person can thus take a heroic role in saving the day and may be the main protagonist or a relatively minor helper.

Obtaining. Solicitor, refusing adversary; or an arbitrator and opposing parties. This presents an end to be attained, but at what cost and by what means? Can be a contest between reason and passion. Can include temptation.

Examples: Screwtape Letters, Gump.

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