The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 8.0532. Saturday, 3 May 1997.
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.