Page:The thirty-six dramatic situations (1921).djvu/46

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(Elements: a Malevolent Kinsman; a Hated or Reciprocally Hating Kinsman)

Antithesis,[1] which constituted for Hugo the generative principle of art, — dramatic art in particular, — and which naturally results from the idea of Conflict which is the basis of drama, offers one of the most symmetrical of schemes in these contrasting emotions. "Hatred of one who should be loved," of which the worthy pendant is the Twenty-Ninth, "Love of one who should be hated." Such confluents necessarily give rise to stormy action.

It is easy to foresee the following laws:

First: The more closely are drawn the bonds which unite kinsmen at enmity, the more savage and dangerous their outbursts of hate are rendered.

Second: When the hatred is mutual, it will better characterize our Situation than when it exists upon one side only, in which case one of the relatives becomes Tyrant and the other Victim, the ensemble resulting in Situations V, VII, VIII, XXX, etc.

Third: The great difficulty will be to find and to represent convincingly an element of discord powerful enough to cause the breaking of the strongest human ties.

  1. Antithesis: An opposition or contrast of words or ideas especially one emphasized by the positions of contrasting words, as when placed at the beginning or end of a single sentence or clause, or, in corresponding positions in two or more sentences or clauses. (Measures, not men. The prodigal robs his heir; the miser robs himself.) Here the reference, of course, is to ideas.