Page:The thirty-six dramatic situations (1921).djvu/76

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THIRTY-SIX DRAMATIC SITUATIONS

 (2) — Duty of Sacrificing, Under the Same Circumstances, Ones Father: — The "Hypsipyles" of Aeschylus, and of Metastasio; "The Lemnian Women" by Sophocles.

 (3) — Duty of Sacrificing, Under the Same Circumstances, Ones Husband: — The "Danaides" of Phrynichus, of Aeschylus, of Gombaud, of Salieri, of Spontini; the "Lynceus" of Theodectes and of Abeille; the Hypermnestres" of Metastasio, Riupeiroux, Lemierre, etc.

 (4) — Duty of Sacrificing a Son-In-Law for the Public Good: — "Un Patriote" (Dartois, 1881). For the Sake of Reputation: — "Guibor" (a XIV Century Miracle of Notre-Dame).

 (5) — Duty of Contending with a Brother-In-Law for the Public Good: — Corneille's "Horace," and that of Arétin. The loyalty and affection subsisting between the adversaries remove all resemblance to the Thirtieth.

 (6) — Duty of Contending With a Friend: — "Jarnac" (Hennique and Gravier, 1909).

 Nuance B, (B 1 for example), lends itself to a fine interlacing of motifs. Melanippe finds herself (1st) forced to slay her son, an order which she would have resisted at the risk of her own life, but she is at the same time (2nd) obliged to conceal her interest in the child, for fear of revealing his identity and thereby causing his certain death. Similar dilemmas may be evolved with equal success in all cases in which a character receives an injunction which he is unwilling to obey; it will suffice to let him fall, by his refusal, into a second situation leading to a result equally repugnant or, better yet, identical. This dilemma of action is again found in what is called blackmail; we have also seen its cruel alternatives outlined in Class D of Situation XX ("Theodore," "The Virgin Martyr," etc.), and clearly manifested in Class D (especially D 2) of Situation XXII ("Measure for Measure," "Le Huron," etc.) but it is there presented most crudely, by a single character or event, of a nature tyrannical and odious. Whereas in "Melanippe" it results so logically and pitilessly from the action that it does not occur to us to rebel against it; we accept it without question, so natural does it appear, so overwhelming.