36 dramatiskar støður (á enskum)

The Thirty-Six Dramatic Situations

as named by Georges Polti

All situations in any story or drama are supposed to fall into one of these categories. There may be more than one situation in the plot of a story if it’s long enough. The list was developed to help writers, but perhaps storytellers will also find it interesting. See Polti’s book of the same name for explanations, examples, and variations. Various other longer categorisations have been made of such situations, and very comprehensive, extensive lists may be found in the various Motif Indices.

  1. Supplication
    The dynamic elements technically necessary are: a Persecutor; a Supplicant; and a Power in authority, whose decision is doubtful.
  2. Deliverance
    Elements: an Unfortunate, a Threatener, a Rescuer.
  3. Crime Pursued by Vengeance
    Elements: an Avenger and a Criminal
  4. Vengeance Taken for Kindred Upon Kindred
    Elements: Avenging Kinsman; Guilty Kinsman; Remembrance of the Victim, a Relative of Both
  5. Pursuit
    Elements: Punishment and Fugitive
  6. Disaster
    Elements: a Vanquished Power; a Victorious Enemy or a Messenger
  7. Falling Prey to Cruelty or Misfortune
    Elements: an Unfortunate; a Master or a Misfortune
  8. Revolt
    Elements: Tyrant and Conspirator
  9. Daring Enterprise
    Elements: a Bold Leader; an Object; an Adversary
  10. Abduction
    Elements: the Abductor; the Abducted; the Guardian
  11. The Enigma
    Elements: Interrogator, Seeker and Problem
  12. Obtaining
    Elements: a Solicitor and an Adversary Who is Refusing, or an Arbitrator and Opposing Parties
  13. Enmity of Kinsmen
    Elements: a Malevolent Kinsman; a Hatred or Reciprocally Hating Kinsman
  14. Rivalry of Kinsmen
    Elements: the Preferred Kinsman; the Rejected Kinsman; the Object
  15. Murderous Adultery
    Elements: Two Adulterers; a Betrayed Husband or Wife
  16. Madness
    Elements: Madman and Victim
  17. Fatal Imprudence
    Elements: The Imprudent; the Victim or the Object Lost
  18. Involuntary Crimes of Love
    Elements: the Lover, the Beloved; the Revealer
  19. Slaying of a Kinsman Unrecognised
    Elements: the Slayer, the Unrecognized Victim
  20. Self-Sacrifice for an Ideal
    Elements: the Hero; the Ideal; the ‘Creditor’ or the Person or Thing Sacrificed
  21. Self-Sacrifice for Kindred
    Elements: the Hero; the Kinsman; the ‘Creditor’ or the Person or Thing Sacrificed
  22. All Sacrificed for Passion
    Elements: the Lover, the Object of the Fatal Passion; the Person or Thing Sacrificed
  23. Necessity of Sacrificing Loved Ones
    Elements: the Hero; the Beloved Victim; the Necessity for the Sacrifice
  24. Rivalry of Superior and Inferior
    Elements: the Superior Rival; the Inferior Rival; the Object
  25. Adultery
    Elements: a Deceived Husband or Wife; Two Adulterers
  26. Crimes of Love
    Elements: The Lover, the Beloved
  27. Discovery of the Dishonour of a Loved One
    Elements: the Discoverer; the Guilty One
  28. Obstacles to Love
    Elements: Two Lovers, an Obstacle
  29. An Enemy Loved
    Elements: The Beloved Enemy; the Lover; the Hater
  30. Ambition
    Elements: an Ambitious Person; a Thing Coveted; an Adversary
  31. Conflict With a God
    Elements: a Mortal, an Immortal
  32. Mistaken Jealousy
    Elements: the Jealous One; the Object of Whose Possession He is Jealous; the Supposed Accomplice; the Cause or the Author of the Mistake
  33. Erroneous Judgement
    Elements: The Mistaken One; the Victim of the Mistake; the Cause or Author of the Mistake; the Guilty Person
  34. Remorse
    Elements: the Culprit; the Victim or the Sin; the Interrogator
  35. Recovery of a Lost One
    The Seeker; the One Found
  36. Loss of Loved Ones
    A Kinsman Slain; a Kinsman Spectator; an Executioner