Talk:Climax (narrative)

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(Anti-Climax Pronunciation & Definitions 1,2,&3: A decline viewed in disappointing contrast with a previous rise: the anticlimax of a brilliant career. 2. Something trivial or commonplace that concludes a series of significant events: After a week of dramatic negotiations, all that followed was anticlimax. 3. A sudden descent in speaking or writing from the impressive or significant to the ludicrous or inconsequential, or an instance of it: "Waggish non-Yale men never seem weary of calling 'for God, for Country and for Yale' the outstanding single anticlimax in the English language" (Time). anti·cli·mactic (-kl-mktk) adj. anti·cli·macti·cal·ly adv.)

Agreed. An anti-climax is closer to being defined as "post climax." It's the "cigarette after." :) JimH443 (talk) 18:03, 17 August 2008 (UTC)


Position of Climax in Fiction[edit]

The article mentioned that climaxes in fiction usually occur two-thirds of the way through the text, but I don't think this is true. With a few notable exceptions (The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King springs to mind), most prose that I know of has a climax much more than two-thirds through the work. Therefore, I've changed the article to reflect this; if anyone has evidence otherwise, feel free to change it back. 129.2.194.171 23:43, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

Return of the King is part of a single novel, and so the position of the climax within that volume is not particularly relevant. 2.25.135.191 (talk) 17:03, 25 June 2011 (UTC)

The article mentions "The climax of the Greek plot line is when everything comes out." This is a little vague and is not accurate. The idea that "everything comes out" would occur after the climax, which is a definite point/moment not a section of the narrative. I propose rewording this sentence in the article: here are some suggestions (I am wary about making the changes myself as I am a new contributor and too busy to back it up with references right now: so would prefer to invite a more experienced contributor to consider my suggestions and make any changes). Suggestions: "The climax of the Greek plot line is the point at which the resolution of the protagonist's central complication is made inevitable. That resolution may be positive or negative, but it is the climax that reveals it to the audience as inevitable." OR "The climax of the Greek plot line is the decisive dramatic peak in the protagonist's quest to resolve their central complication. It is not usually the point at which the complication is actually resolved; it is the explosive release of tension beginning the series of events (falling action) that will lead directly to that resolution." --Randomlink2011 (talk) 07:00, 5 September 2011 (UTC)

I strongly disagree with the following statement from the article: "Although it is not necessarily true, a climax is known in most modern culture for being the final fight between the hero and villain." Perhaps the phrase "Although it is not necessarily true" is meant to imply that the rest of the sentence is actually a common misconception - but if so the point needs to be made clearer. The final fight between hero and villain would more often be placed somewhere in the resolution - generally at the final turning point in a narrative diagram (the meeting point of falling action and denouement in Freytag's Pyramid (dramatic structure). Equating the final "fight scene" with the story's climax may be appropriate for some action stories (more likely action movies) where the intensity of physical action coincides with the intensity of the dramatic narrative, but that is just coincidence and limited to a small minority of stories lacking in dramatic depth. Climax is a point in narrative (dramatic) structure, not in surface action: and in most stories, plays, films, etc the dramatic tension is not parallel with physical action. --Randomlink2011 (talk) 07:00, 5 September 2011 (UTC)

Following the above concern - I feel the remainder of the paragraph beginning "Although it is not necessarily true" should be replaced. The language is ambiguous and the examples support a misconception of the term rather than a clear example of its successful use. I don't have time right now to suggest replacement examples, but will aim to do so when possible. For the time being, if anyone else has time I would suggest using Shakespeare for archetypal examples and then comparing these with modern texts that have some acclaim for dramatic structure, rather than for special effects, and preferably stand alone texts rather than sequels in a series. (Regarding the current examples: though any star wars film could be a viable example, return of the sith, compared with the earlier star wars trilogy, is arguably better known for special effects and casting than for dramatic structure. Its position in a series with its own overall narrative confuses the issue unnecessarily). --Randomlink2011 (talk) 07:00, 5 September 2011 (UTC)