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Home :: Archive :: 1997 :: May ::
Q: Peripety in Shakespeare
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.0532.  Saturday, 3 May 1997.

From:           Jeff Barker <
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Date:           Friday, 2 May 1997 15:23:54 CST
Subject:        Q:  Peripety in Shakespeare

Qs:  What has been written on the subject of "peripety" in Shakespeare?
What are some of your favorite "peripeties" in Shakespeare's plays?

I am a sometime director of Shakespeare and a faithful reader of this
list, but I am also a playwright.  I have been taken recently with the
notion of "peripety" which I came upon in Kathleen George's introductory
text:  Playwriting - The First Workshop.  Turns out that Professor
George's work derives from Bert O. States and a look at Professor
States' book (Irony and Drama) led me back to Aristotle's "peripeteia".
States claims that "drama simply IS peripety."  I am so struck by the
value of peripety for the playwright, that I have been doing a great
deal of thinking about it.  Is anyone else out there thinking about it
and/or writing about it?

By the way, peripety, as I currently understand it, is a reversal of
intent - a character sets out to accomplish one thing, and in so doing,
accomplishes the opposite.
 

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