Page:The thirty-six dramatic situations (1921).djvu/44

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(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 subtile 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 Force: — the "Philoctetes" of Aeschylus, of Sophocles and of Euripides; the reclamation of the Thebans in "Œdipus at Colonus;" "The Minister's Ring," by Vishakadatta.

B - Endeavor by Means of Persuasive Eloquence Alone: — "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."

C — Eloquence With an Arbitrator: — "The Judgment of Arms," by Aeschylus; "Helen Reclaimed," by Sophocles.