Page:The thirty-six dramatic situations (1921).djvu/78

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TWENTY-FOURTH SITUATION

RIVALRY OF SUPERIOR AND INFERIOR

(The Superior Rival; the Inferior Rival; the Object)

I would have preferred to make of this and the following (Adultery) a single situation. The difference lies in a contract or a ceremony, of variable importance according to the milieu, and which in any case does not materially change the dramatic emotions springing from the love contest; even this difference becomes quite imperceptible in polygamous societies (Hindu drama). Thus I would rather have created but one independent situation, of which the other should be a nuance. But I fear I should be accused of purposely compressing modern works into the smallest possible number of categories, for the two which we are now to analyze contain the major part of them.

We have already remarked that between "Hatred of Kinsmen" and "Rivalry of Kinsmen" the sole difference lies in the fact that in the latter there is embodied in human form the Object of dispute, the "casus belli." For the same reason we may bring together the situations "Rivalry of Superior and Inferior," "Adultery," and even "Murderous Adultery," and distinguish them from all the situations which portray struggle pure and simple (V, VII, VIII, IX, X, XI, XXX, XXXI). However, the beloved Object will more naturally appear in the present cases of sentimental rivalry than she could in the "Rivalry of Kinsmen," and nowhere does a more favorable opportunity present itself to the dramatic poet for portraying his ideals of love.

These cases are divided first according to sexes, then according to the degrees of difference in the rank of the rivals.