Page:The thirty-six dramatic situations (1921).djvu/33

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SEVENTH SITUATION

FALLING PREY TO CRUELTY OR MISFORTUNE

(Elements: an Unfortunate; a Master or a Misfortune)

To infinite sorrow there is no limit. Beneath that which seems the final depth of misfortune, there may open another yet more frightful. A ferocious and deliberate dissection of the heart it seems, this Seventh Situation, — that of pessimism par excellence.

A — The Innocent Made the Victum of Ambitious Intrigue: — "The Princess Maleine" (Maeterlinck); "The Natural Daughter," by Goethe; "Les Deux Jumeaux," by Hugo.

B — The Innocent Despoiled by Those Who Should Protect: — "The Guests and the beginning of the "Joueurs d'Osselets," by Aeschylus (at the first vibration of the great bow in the hands of the unknown Beggar, what a breath of hope we draw!); "Lea Corbeaux" by Becque; "Le Roi de Rome" (Pouvillon); "L'Aiglon" (Rostand); "La Croisade des Enfantelets Francs" (Ernault).

C (1) — The Powerful Dispossessed and Wretched: — The beginning of Sophocles' and of Euripides' "Peleus;" of "Prometheus Bound;" of "Job." Laertes in his garden. Example from comedy: "Le Jeu de la Feuillee" (Adam de la Halle).

(2) — A Favorite or an Intimate Finds Himself Forgotten: "En Detresse" (Fevre, 1890).