Page:The thirty-six dramatic situations (1921).djvu/23

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21
THIRD SITUATION

B (1)—Vengeance for Intentional Injury or Spoliation:—Shakespeare's "Tempest." Contemporary instance: Bismarck in his retirement at Varzin.

(2)—Vengeance for Having Been Despoiled During Absence:—"Les Joueurs d'Osselets" and "Penelope," by Aeschylus; "The Feast of the Achaeans," by Sophocles.

(3)—Revenge for an Attempted Slaying:—"The Anger of Te-oun-go," by Kouan-han-king. A similar case involving at the same time the saving of a loved one by a judicial error: "La Cellule No. 7" (Zaccone, 1881).

(4)—Revenge for a False Accusation:—The "Phrixus" of Sophocles and of Euripides; Dumas' "Monte-Cristo;" "La Declassee" (Delahaye, 1883); "Roger-la-Honte" (Mary, 1881).

(5)—Vengeance for Violation:—Sophocles' "Tereus;" "The Courtesan of Corinth" (Carré and Bilhaud, 1908); "The Cenci," by Shelley (parricide as the punishment of incest).

(6)—Vengeance for Having Been Robbed of Ones Own:—"The Merchant of Venice," and partly "William Tell."

(7)—Revenge Upon a Whole Sex for a Deception by One:—"Jack the Ripper" (Bertrand and Clairian, 1889); the fatal heroines of the typical plays of the Second Empire, "L'Etrangère," etc. A case appertaining also to class A: the motive (an improbable one) of the corruptress in "Possédé," by Lemonnier.

We here encounter for the first time that grimacing personage who forms the keystone of all drama dark and mysterious,—the "villain." About the beginning of our Third Situation we might evoke him at every step, this villain and his profound schemes which not infrequently make us smile. Don Salluste in "Ruy-Blas," Iago in "Othello," Guanhumara in "Burgraves," Homodei in "Angelo," Mahomet in the tragedy of that name. Leontine in "Heraclius," Maxime in "La Tragedie de Valentinien," Emire in "Siroès," Ulysses in "Palamedes."