(The Hero ; the Kinsman ; the "Creditor" or the Person or Thing Sacrificed)

A (1)—Life Sacrificed for that of a Relative or a Loved One:—The "Alcestes" of Sophocles, of Euripides, of Buchanan, of Hardy, of Racine (projected), of Quinault, of Lagrange-Chancel, of Boissy, of Coypel, of Saint-Foix, of Dorat, of Gluck, of H. Lucas, of Vauzelles, etc.

(2)—Life Sacrificed for the Happiness of a Relative or a Loved One:—"L'Ancien" by Richepin. Two symmetrical works are "Smilis" (Aicard, 1884), in which the husband sacrifices himself, and "Le Divorce de Sarah Moore" (Rozier, Paton and Dumas fils), in which the wife sacrifices herself. Examples from fiction and analogous to these two dramas are "Great Expectations" by Dickens and "La Joie de Vivre" by Zola. Common examples: workmen in dangerous occupations.

B (1) —Ambition Sacrificed for the Happiness of a Parent:—"Les Freres Zemganno" by Edmond de Goncourty. This ends with a denounement the opposite of that of "L'CEuvre."

(2)—Ambition Sacrificed for the Life of a Parent:— "Madame de Maintenon" (Coppee, 1881).

C (1)—Love Sacrificed for the Sake of a Parent's Life:—"Diane" by Augier; "Martyre" (Dennery, 1886).

(2)—For the Happiness of Ones Child:—"Le Reveil" (Hervieu, 1905); "La Fugitive" (Picard, 1911). For the Happiness of a Loved One:—"Cyrano de Bergerac" by Rostand; "Le Droit au Bonheur" (C. Lemonnier, 1907;.

(3)—The Same Sacrifice as 2, But Caused by Unjust Laws:—"La Loi de l'Homme" by Hervieu.

D (1)—Life and Honor Sacrificed for the Life of a Parent or Loved One:—"Le Petit Jacques." Case in which the loved one is guilty: "La Charbonniere" (Cremieux, 1884); "Le Frere d'Armes" (Garaud, 1887); "Le Chien de Garde" (Richepin, 1889). The Same Sacrifice Made for the Honor of a Loved One:—"Pierre Vaux" (Jonathan, 1882). A similar sacrifice, but of reputation only: "La Cornette" (Mile, and M. Ferrier, 1909).

(2)—Modesty Sacrificed for the Life of a Relative or a Loved One:—Shakespeare's "Measure for Measure;" Euripides' "Andromache" and also Racine's; "Pertharite" by Corneille; "La Tosca" (Sardou, 1889). In fiction: "Le Huron" by Voltaire.


Self-sacrifice for a kinsman is similar to self-sacrificing for an ideal, in that the ideal here is that one should put one's kin above many others things. Many cultures have this rule, that family comes before many things, even the law, and that one should perjure oneself or worse if this is what is required to support one's kith and kin.

Seeing others in a story obeying our own social rules makes us identify more strongly with them. Stories of sacrifice for kin thus are often heart-warming and affirming.

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