In defence of deus ex machina | Intellect Skip to content
1981
Volume 13, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 1759-7137
  • E-ISSN: 1759-7145

Abstract

The use of the in modern films is examined in this article. The is a device which is sometimes brought into play in a story as a last-resort effort to save the protagonist by an unexpected external force. Although the use of the device in ancient Greek drama has been rehabilitated, the same cannot be said about its modern use. Because the undermines the audience’s expectations for a story’s resolution, thus decreasing their emotional involvement, in screenwriting manuals, this device is often considered a cheap plot trick or a sign of bad writing. In this article, the functions that the device serves in ancient Greek drama are compared to some of its more successful uses in film narratives, demonstrating that it is a valuable tool which can effectively convey (among other things) a message of unity and hope.

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2022-07-01
2024-02-29
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