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LITERATURE MEME:
Four Tropes: Deus Ex Machina (4/4).

This Latin phrase originally described an ancient plot device used in Greek and Roman theatre. Many tragedy writers used Deus ex Machina to resolve complicated or even seemingly hopeless situations in the plots of their plays. The phrase is loosely translated as “god from the machine.” This translation refers to how the Deus ex Machina was often performed in ancient theatre. An actor playing a god or goddess would be lowered on stage by a “mechane” which was the name of the crane device used. The above diagram depicts the mechanics of the “mechane”. It was composed of wooden beams and used a pulley system to pick up an actor into the air and elevate them above the stage to simulate flight. 
The term Deus ex Machina is still used today, however, it has taken on a broader meaning. Deus ex Machina is now the phrase used to describe any situation where something unexpected or implausible is brought in to the story line to resolve situations or disentangle a plot. The resolution could come from a new character, device, or event. The definition of this phrase has also been stretched to include any story resolutions that are not drawn directly or logically from the preceding plot and defy even the broad concept of suspension of disbelief. The new and broader definition of Deus ex Machina helps authors of such modern works to end their stories with improbable but more acceptable conclusions.

LITERATURE MEME:

Four Tropes: Deus Ex Machina (4/4).

This Latin phrase originally described an ancient plot device used in Greek and Roman theatre. Many tragedy writers used Deus ex Machina to resolve complicated or even seemingly hopeless situations in the plots of their plays. The phrase is loosely translated as “god from the machine.” This translation refers to how the Deus ex Machina was often performed in ancient theatre. An actor playing a god or goddess would be lowered on stage by a “mechane” which was the name of the crane device used. The above diagram depicts the mechanics of the “mechane”. It was composed of wooden beams and used a pulley system to pick up an actor into the air and elevate them above the stage to simulate flight.

The term Deus ex Machina is still used today, however, it has taken on a broader meaning. Deus ex Machina is now the phrase used to describe any situation where something unexpected or implausible is brought in to the story line to resolve situations or disentangle a plot. The resolution could come from a new character, device, or event. The definition of this phrase has also been stretched to include any story resolutions that are not drawn directly or logically from the preceding plot and defy even the broad concept of suspension of disbelief. The new and broader definition of Deus ex Machina helps authors of such modern works to end their stories with improbable but more acceptable conclusions.

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