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In Classical drama, the epitasis is the main action of a play, in which the trials and tribulations of the main character increase and build toward a climax and dénouement. It was coined by Horace in his Ars Poetica. He defined a play as being made up of five separate parts: prelude, protasis, epitasis, catastasis and catastrophe. In modern dramatic theory, the dramatic arc is often referred to, which uses somewhat different divisions but is substantially the same concept overall.
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