The climax or turning point of a narrative work is its point of highest tension and drama, or it is the time when the action starts during which the solution is given. The climax of a story is a literary element; the punch line of a joke is an analogy for the climax of a fictional narrative, though the absence of any falling action is an essential difference, which may reflect the nature of humor as opposed to the nature of drama. In non-fictional narrative genres though the author does not have the same freedom to control the action and "plot" as in works of fiction, the selection of subject matter, degree of detail, emphasis permit an author to create similar structures, i.e. to construct a dramatization. In the play Hippolytus, by the famous Greek playwright, the climax arrives when Phaedra hears Hippolytus react badly because of her love for him; that is the moment that Aphrodite's curse is fulfilled, it is the turning point of the play. An anticlimax is a situation in a plot in which something which would appear to be difficult to solve is solved through something trivial.
For example, destroying a guarded facility would require advanced technology and weaponry for a climax, but for an anticlimax, it may just require pushing a red button which reads, "Emergency Self-Destruct", or filling out an eviction notice and destroying the building. A famous example is the ending of The War of the Worlds, where amidst the chaos of the extraterrestrial takeover of planet Earth, the aliens are defeated by the most unexpected organism: the common cold virus. Another example could involve the protagonist faced with insurmountable odds and being killed without accomplishing his goal, despite what appears to be a turning point for the character. Dramatic structure Literary element Climax as a rhetorical device
A cliffhanger, or cliffhanger ending, is a plot device in fiction which features a main character in a precarious or difficult dilemma, or confronted with a shocking revelation at the end of an episode of serialized fiction. A cliffhanger is hoped to ensure the audience will return to see how the characters resolve the dilemma; some serials end with the caveat "To Be Continued…" or "The End?" In movie serials and television series, the following episode sometimes begins with a recap sequence. Cliffhangers were used as literary devices in several works of the medieval era; the Arabic literary work One Thousand and One Nights involves Scheherazade narrating a series of stories to King Shahryār for 1,001 nights, with each night ending on a cliffhanger in order to save herself from execution. Some medieval Chinese ballads like the Liu chih-yuan chu-kung-tiao ended each chapter on a cliffhanger to keep the audience in suspense. Cliffhangers appeared as an element of the Victorian serial novel that emerged in the 1840s, with many associating the form with Charles Dickens, a pioneer of the serial publication of narrative fiction.
By the 1860s it had become a staple part of the sensation serials, while the term itself originated with Thomas Hardy in 1873 when a protagonist from one of his serials, Henry Knight, was left hanging off a cliff. Cliffhangers became prominent with the serial publication of narrative fiction, pioneered by Charles Dickens. Printed episodically in magazines, Dickens’s cliffhangers triggered desperation in his readers. Writing in the New Yorker, Emily Nussbaum captured the anticipation of those waiting for the next installment of Dickens' The Old Curiosity Shop; the impact of Dickens' serial publications saw the cliffhanger become a staple part of the sensation serials by the 1860s. The term "cliffhanger" is considered to have originated with the serialised version of Thomas Hardy's A Pair of Blue Eyes in which Henry Knight, one of the protagonists, is left hanging off a cliff. Cliffhangers were popular from the 1910s through to the 1930s serials when nickelodeons and movie theaters filled the cultural niche primarily occupied by television.
During the 1910s, when Fort Lee, New Jersey was a center of film production, the cliffs facing New York and the Hudson River were used as film locations. The most notable of these films was The Perils of Pauline, a serial which helped popularize the term cliffhanger. In them, the serial would end leaving actress Pearl White's Pauline character hanging from a cliff. Cliffhangers are used in television series soap operas that end each episode on a cliffhanger. Prior to the early 1980s, season-ending cliffhangers were rare on U. S. television. The first such season-ender on U. S. TV was in the comedy send-up of soap operas Soap in 1978. Several Australian soap operas, which went off air over summer, such as Number 96, The Restless Years, Prisoner, ended each year with major and much publicized catastrophe, such as a character being shot in the final seconds of the year's closing episode. Cliffhangers are used in Japanese manga and anime. In contrast to American superhero comics, Japanese manga are much more written with cliffhangers with each volume or issue.
This is the case with shōnen manga those published by Weekly Shōnen Jump, such as Dragon Ball, Shaman King, One Piece. During its original run, Doctor Who was written in a serialised format that ended each episode within a serial on a cliffhanger. In the first few years of the show, the final episodes of each serial would have a cliffhanger that would lead into the next serial. Dragonfire Part One is notable for having a cliffhanger that involved The Doctor hanging from a cliff; this has been criticised by fans for being a pointless cliffhanger, but script editor Andrew Cartmel gave an explanation for the reasoning of it in an interview. Another British science fiction series, Blake's 7, employed end-of-season cliffhangers for each of the four seasons the series was on air, most notably for its final episode in 1981 in which the whole of the main cast are killed. Cliffhangers were rare on American television before 1980, as television networks preferred the flexibility of airing episodes in any order.
The phenomenal success of the 1980 "Who shot J. R.?" third season-ending cliffhanger of Dallas, the "Who Done It" fourth-season episode that solved the mystery, contributed to the cliffhanger becoming a common storytelling device on American television. Another notable cliffhanger was the "Moldavian Massacre" on Dynasty in 1985, which fueled speculation throughout the summer months regarding who lived or died when all the characters attended a wedding in the country of Moldavia, only to have revolutionaries topple the government and machine-gun the entire wedding party. Cliffhanger endings in films date back to the early 20th century, were prominently used in the movie serials of the 1930s, though these tended to be resolved with the next installment the following week. A longer term cliffhanger was employed in the Star Wars film series, in The Empire Strikes Back in which Darth Vader made a shock revelation to Luke Skywalker that he was his father, the life of Han Solo was in jeopardy after he was frozen and taken away by a bounty hunter.
These plotlines were left unresolved until the next film in the series three years later. The two main ways for cliffhangers to keep readers/viewers coming
Dream world (plot device)
Dream world is a used plot device in fictional works, most notably in science fiction and fantasy fiction. The use of a dream world creates a situation whereby a character is placed in a marvellous and unpredictable environment and must overcome several personal problems to leave it; the dream world commonly serves to teach some moral or religious lessons to the character experiencing it – a lesson that the other characters will be unaware of, but one that will influence decisions made regarding them. When the character is reintroduced into the real world, the question arises as to what constitutes reality due to the vivid recollection and experiences of the dream world. According to J. R. R. Tolkien, dream worlds contrast with fantasy worlds, in which the world has existence independent of the characters in it. However, other authors have used the dreaming process as a way of accessing a world which, within the context of the fiction, holds as much consistency and continuity as physical reality.
The use of "dream frames" to contain a fantasy world, so explain away its marvels, has been criticized and has become much less prevalent. A similar motif, Locus amoenus, is popular in medieval literature. A dream world is sometimes invoked in dream visions such as The Book of the Duchess and Piers Plowman. One of the best-known dream worlds is Wonderland from Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, as well as Looking-Glass Land from its sequel, Through the Looking-Glass. Unlike many dream worlds, Carroll's logic is like that of actual dreams, with transitions and causality flexible. James Branch Cabell's Smirt and its two sequels taken together form an extended dream and most of their action takes place in a dream world; the action of The Bridge by Iain M. Banks and The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever by Stephen R. Donaldson take place in dream worlds. Other fictional dream worlds include the Dreamlands of H. P. Lovecraft's Dream Cycle and The Neverending Story's world of Fantasia, which includes places like the Desert of Lost Dreams, the Sea of Possibilities and the Swamps of Sadness.
Dreamworlds, shared hallucinations and other alternate realities feature in a number of works by Philip K. Dick, such as The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch and Ubik. Similar themes were explored for instance in The Circular Ruins. In The Wheel of Time book series, Tel'aran'rhiod is a dream world that exists in close proximity to the real world. Objects and physical locations that do not change in the real world have parallels in Tel'aran'rhiod. Ordinary people can slip into Tel'aran'rhiod, events that occur within this dream world have physical consequences. A person that dies in Tel'aran'rhiod will never wake up again, in several cases it is shown that physical injuries gained there persist to the waking world. Tel'aran'rhiod can be controlled similar to a lucid dream, several characters in the series can enter and manipulate Tel'aran'rhiod at will. Paprika by Yasutaka Tsutsui is a science fiction novel that involves entering dream worlds using technology. In the book, dream monitoring and intervention as a means of treating mental disorders is a developing new form of psychotherapy in the near future.
Unrest ensues when a new psychotherapy dream-analysis device is stolen, allowing the assailant to enter and manipulate people's dreams. In the feminist science fiction novel The Kin of Ata Are Waiting for You, the Kin of Ata maintain the real world through their dreaming, making the real world a form of dream. In the 1939 movie, Oz from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was altered from a fantasy world to a dream world of Dorothy's. In The Matrix and the rest of the humans live inside a dream world, their brains are hooked up to a computer network. However, some may argue that this is not a dream world, as it seems normal and indistinguishable from reality. In the 1980s, the Nightmare on Elm Street series of horror films introduced a dark dream realm inhabited by the supernatural serial killer Freddy Krueger. In the movie Sharkboy and Lavagirl the main characters enter a world dreamt up by a small boy in order to save the real world. Down Town is the land of nightmares. Dreamworlds appear in Total Recall and Vanilla Sky.
Paprika is an anime film adaptation of the 1993 novel of the same name, which involves entering and manipulating dream worlds using dream-analysis devices. The film Waking Life takes place entirely in a dream realm. In the 2010 film Inception, main characters create artificial, vivid dream worlds and bring others into the dream worlds and perform various things with their brains, without them knowing; this may ` Inception' and others. One of the earliest newspaper comic strips, recounting Little Nemo's adventures in Slumberland, had a dream world theme. Writer Neil Gaiman was tasked with re-imagining a Golden Age character, "The Sandman". In his version, the Sandman becomes Dream, the Lord of Dreams, the anthropomorphic personification of dreams. At the start of the series, Morpheus is held prisoner for 70 years. Morpheus escapes in the
Deus ex machina
Deus ex machina is a plot device whereby a unsolvable problem in a story is and abruptly resolved by an unexpected and unlikely occurrence so much as to seem contrived. Its function can be to resolve an otherwise irresolvable plot situation, to surprise the audience, to bring the tale to a happy ending, or act as a comedic device. Deus ex machina is a Latin calque from Greek, Modern ἀπὸ μηχανῆς θεός, meaning'god from the machine'; the term was coined from the conventions of Greek tragedy, where a machine is used to bring actors playing gods onto the stage. The machine could be either a crane used to lower actors from above or a riser that brought actors up through a trapdoor. Preparation to pick up the actors was done behind the skene; the idea was introduced by Aeschylus and was used to resolve the conflict and conclude the drama. Although the device is associated with Greek tragedy, it appeared in comedies. Aeschylus used the device in his Eumenides, but with Euripides, it became an established stage machine.
More than half of Euripides' extant tragedies employ a deus ex machina in their resolution, some critics claim that Euripides, not Aeschylus, invented it. A cited example is Euripides' Medea, in which the deus ex machina, a dragon-drawn chariot sent by the sun god, is used to convey his granddaughter Medea, who has just committed murder and infanticide, away from her husband Jason to the safety and civilization of Athens. In Alcestis, the eponymous heroine agrees to give up her own life to spare the life of her husband, Admetus. At the end, Heracles seizes Alcestis from Death, restoring her to life and to Admetus. Aristophanes' play Thesmophoriazusae parodies Euripides' frequent use of the crane by making Euripides himself a character in the play and bringing him on stage by way of the mechane; the effect of the device on Greek audiences was a immediate emotional response. Audiences would have a feeling of wonder and astonishment at the appearance of the gods, which would add to the moral effect of the drama.
Shakespeare used the device in As You Like It, Prince of Tyre, Cymbeline. It was used in John Gay's The Beggar's Opera, where the author uses a character to break the action and rewrite the ending as a reprieve of the hanging of MacHeath. In both Shakespeare and Gay's plays, the deus ex machina happens with breaking the dramatic illusion in the form of an episodic narrator exposing the play itself and laying bare the author; this is different from the use of the deus ex machina in the ancient examples with the ending coming from a participant in the action in the form of a god. It is natural for the gods to be considered participants and not outside sources because of their privileged position and power; these attributes allow the Greek gods to solve the series of events. During the politically turbulent 17th and 18th centuries, the deus ex machina was sometimes used to make a controversial thesis more palatable to the powers of the day. For example, in the final scene of Molière's Tartuffe, the heroes are saved from a terrible fate by an agent of the compassionate, all-seeing king — the same king who held Molière's career and livelihood in his hands.
Aristotle was the first to use a Greek term equivalent to the Latin phrase deus ex machina as a term to describe the technique as a device to resolve the plot of tragedies. It is deemed undesirable in writing and implies a lack of creativity on the part of the author; the reasons for this are that it does not pay due regard to the story's internal logic and is so unlikely that it challenges suspension of disbelief, allowing the author to conclude the story with an unlikely, though more palatable, ending. In H. G. Wells's The War of the Worlds, the Martians, who have destroyed everything in their path and triumphed over humanity, are killed by bacteria. In the novel Lord of the Flies, the rescue of the savage children by a passing navy officer is viewed by some critics as a deus ex machina; the abrupt ending conveys the terrible fate that would have afflicted the children if the officer had not arrived at that moment. J. R. R. Tolkien referred to the Great Eagles that appear in several places in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings as "a dangerous'machine'".
This was in a letter refusing permission to a film adapter to have the Fellowship of the Ring transported by eagles rather than traveling on foot. He felt that the eagles had been overused as a plot device. For example, in The Hobbit, the eagles save Bilbo Baggins and the dwarves from the goblins and wargs help turn the tide of the Battle of the Five Armies, in The Return of the King, they save Frodo and Sam from certain death on Mount Doom. In the Harvard Lampoon's parody Bored of the Rings, the eagles are referred to as "Deus ex Machina Airlines". Deus ex machina was used by Charles Dickens in Oliver Twist, when in the peak of climax, Rose Maylie turns out to be the long-lost sister of Agnes, therefore Oliver's aunt; the deus ex machina device has many criticisms attached to it referring to it as inartistic, too convenient, overly simplistic. However, champions of the device say that it opens up artistic possibilities. Antiphanes was one of the device's earliest critics, he believed that the use of the deus ex machina was a sign that the playwright was unable t
A frame story is a literary technique. Sometimes this serves as a companion piece to a story within a story, where an introductory or main narrative is presented, at least in part, for the purpose of setting the stage either for a more emphasized second narrative or for a set of shorter stories; the frame story leads readers from a first story into smaller one within it. The frame story may be used to allow readers to understand a part of the story jump to another part that can now be understood; this is not however, to be mixed up with a narrative character personality change. Some of the earliest known frame stories are those from ancient Egypt, including one found in the Papyrus Westcar, the Tale of the Shipwrecked Sailor, The Eloquent Peasant. Other early examples are from Indian literature, including the Sanskrit epics Mahabharata, Panchatantra, Syntipas's The Seven Wise Masters, the fable collections Hitopadesha and Vikram and The Vampire; this form spread west through the centuries and became popular, giving rise to such classic frame tale collections as the One Thousand and One Nights, The Decameron, Canterbury Tales.
This format had flexibility in that various narrators could retain the stories they liked or understood, while dropping ones they didn't and adding new ones they heard from other places. This occurred with One Thousand and One Nights, where different versions over the centuries have included different stories; the use of a frame story in which a single narrative is set in the context of the telling of a story is a technique with a long history, dating back at least to the beginning section of the Odyssey, in which the narrator Odysseus tells of his wandering in the court of King Alcinous. This literary device acts as a convenient conceit for the organization of a set of smaller narratives, which are either of the devising of the author or taken from a previous stock of popular tales altered by the author for the purpose of the longer narrative. Sometimes a story within the main narrative can be used to sum up or encapsulate some aspect of the framing story, in which case it is referred to in literary criticism by the French term mise en abyme.
A typical example of a frame story is One Thousand and One Nights, in which the character Shahrazad narrates a set of fairy tales to the Sultan Shahriyar over many nights. Many of Shahrazad's tales are frame stories, such as Tale of Sindbad the Seaman and Sindbad the Landsman, a collection of adventures related by Sindbad the Seaman to Sindbad the Landsman. Extensive use of this device is found in Ovid's Metamorphoses, where the stories nest several deep, to allow the inclusion of many different tales in one work. Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights uses this literary device to tell the story of Heathcliff and Catherine, along with the subplots, her sister Anne uses this device in her epistolary novel The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. The main heroine's diary is framed by the narrator's story and letters. Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein is another good example of a book with multiple framed narratives. In the book, Robert Walton writes letters to his sister describing the story told to him by Victor Frankenstein.
Frame stories have appeared in other media, such as comic books. Neil Gaiman's comic book series The Sandman featured a story arc called Worlds End which consisted of frame stories, sometimes featured stories within stories within stories. Frame stories are organized as a gathering of people in one place for the exchange of stories; each character tells his or her tale, the frame tale progresses in that manner. Famous frame stories include Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, about a group of pilgrims who tell stories on their journey to Canterbury. Sometimes only one storyteller exists, in this case there might be different levels of distance between the reader and author. In this mode, the frame tale can become more fuzzy. In Washington Irving's Sketch Book, which contains "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" and "Rip Van Winkle" among others, the conceit is that the author of the book is not Irving, but a certain gentleman named Crayon. Here the frame includes the world of the imagined Crayon, his stories, the possible reader, assumed to play along and "know" who Crayon is.
Donald Westlake's short story "No Story" is a parody of frame stories, in which a series of narrators start to tell stories, each of which contains a narrator who starts to tell a story, culminating in a narrator who announces that there will be no story. It is a frame story without a story to be framed; when there is a single story, the frame story is used for other purposes – chiefly to position the reader's attitude toward the tale. One common one is to draw attention to the narrator's unreliability. By explicitly making the narrator a character within the frame story, the writer distances him or herself from the narrator. In P. G. Wodehouse's stories of Mr Mulliner, Mulliner is made a fly fisherman in order to cast doubt on the outrageous stories he tells; the movie Amadeus is framed as a story an old Antonio Salieri tells to a young priest, because the movie is based more on stories Salieri told about Mozart than on historical fact. Another use is a form of procatalepsis, where the writer puts the readers' possible reactions to the st
Occam's razor is the problem-solving principle that states that "simpler solutions are more to be correct than complex ones." When presented with competing hypotheses to solve a problem, one should select the solution with the fewest assumptions. The idea is attributed to English Franciscan friar William of Ockham, a scholastic philosopher and theologian. In science, Occam's razor is used as an abductive heuristic in the development of theoretical models, rather than as a rigorous arbiter between candidate models. In the scientific method, Occam's razor is not considered an irrefutable principle of logic or a scientific result. For each accepted explanation of a phenomenon, there may be an large even incomprehensible, number of possible and more complex alternatives. Since one can always burden failing explanations with ad hoc hypotheses to prevent them from being falsified, simpler theories are preferable to more complex ones because they are more testable; the term Occam's razor did not appear until a few centuries after William of Ockham's death in 1347.
Libert Froidmont, in his On Christian Philosophy of the Soul, takes credit for the phrase, speaking of "novacula occami". Ockham did not invent this principle, but the "razor"—and its association with him—may be due to the frequency and effectiveness with which he used it. Ockham stated the principle in various ways, but the most popular version, "Entities are not to be multiplied without necessity" was formulated by the Irish Franciscan philosopher John Punch in his 1639 commentary on the works of Duns Scotus; the origins of what has come to be known as Occam's razor are traceable to the works of earlier philosophers such as John Duns Scotus, Robert Grosseteste and Aristotle. Aristotle writes in his Posterior Analytics, "We may assume the superiority ceteris paribus of the demonstration which derives from fewer postulates or hypotheses." Ptolemy stated, "We consider it a good principle to explain the phenomena by the simplest hypothesis possible."Phrases such as "It is vain to do with more what can be done with fewer" and "A plurality is not to be posited without necessity" were commonplace in 13th-century scholastic writing.
Robert Grosseteste, in Commentary on the Posterior Analytics Books, declares: "That is better and more valuable which requires fewer, other circumstances being equal... For if one thing were demonstrated from many and another thing from fewer known premises, better, from fewer because it makes us know just as a universal demonstration is better than particular because it produces knowledge from fewer premises. In natural science, in moral science, in metaphysics the best is that which needs no premises and the better that which needs the fewer, other circumstances being equal."The Summa Theologica of Thomas Aquinas states that "it is superfluous to suppose that what can be accounted for by a few principles has been produced by many." Aquinas uses this principle to construct an objection to God's existence, an objection that he in turn answers and refutes and through an argument based on causality. Hence, Aquinas acknowledges the principle that today is known as Occam's razor, but prefers causal explanations to other simple explanations.
William of Ockham was an English Franciscan friar and theologian, an influential medieval philosopher and a nominalist. His popular fame as a great logician rests chiefly on the maxim attributed to him and known as Occam's razor; the term razor refers to distinguishing between two hypotheses either by "shaving away" unnecessary assumptions or cutting apart two similar conclusions. While it has been claimed that Occam's razor is not found in any of William's writings, one can cite statements such as Numquam ponenda est pluralitas sine necessitate, which occurs in his theological work on the Sentences of Peter Lombard; the precise words sometimes attributed to William of Ockham, Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem, are absent in his extant works. William of Ockham's contribution seems to restrict the operation of this principle in matters pertaining to miracles and God's power; this principle is sometimes phrased as Pluralitas non est ponenda sine necessitate. In his Summa Totius Logicae, i.
12, William of Ockham cites the principle of economy, Frustra fit per plura quod potest fieri per pauciora To quote Isaac Newton, "We are to admit no more causes of natural things than such as are both true and sufficient to explain their appearances. Therefore, to the same natural effects we must, as far as possible, assign the same cause
A tragic hero is the protagonist of a tragedy in dramas. In his Poetics, Aristotle records the descriptions of the tragic hero to the playwright and defines the place that the tragic hero must play and the kind of man he must be. Aristotle based his observations on previous dramas. Many of the most famous instances of tragic heroes appear in Greek literature, most notably the works of Sophocles and Euripides. In Poetics, Aristotle suggests that the hero of a tragedy must evoke a sense of pity or fear within the audience, stating that “the change of fortune presented must not be the spectacle of a virtuous man brought from prosperity to adversity." In essence, the focus of the hero should not be the loss of his goodness. He establishes the concept that pity is an emotion that must be elicited when, through his actions, the character receives undeserved misfortune, while the emotion of fear must be felt by the audience when they contemplate that such misfortune could befall themselves in similar situations.
Aristotle explains such change of fortune "should be not from bad to good, reversely, from good to bad.” Such misfortune is visited upon the tragic hero "not through vice or depravity but by some error of judgment." This error, or hamartia, refers to a flaw in the character of the hero, or a mistake made by the character. An example of a mistake made by a tragic hero can be found in Sophocles' Oedipus Rex. In the story, the character of Oedipus is given a prophecy that he will murder his own father and marry his own mother. Although he goes to great lengths to avoid fulfilling the prophecy, Oedipus learns that the life of a man he took, was that of his own father, that the woman to which he is married, Jocasta, is his own mother. Creon of Sophocles' Antigone is another notable example of a tragic hero. Polyneices and his brother, were kings, the former wanted more power, so he left and assembled an army from a neighboring city, they attacked and the two brothers killed each other. Through Creon's law forbidding the burial of Polyneices, Creon dooms his own family.
Other examples provided by Aristotle include Thyestes. Therefore, the Aristotelian hero is characterized as virtuous but not "eminently good," which suggests a noble or important personage, upstanding and morally inclined while nonetheless subject to human error. Aristotle's tragic heroes are flawed individuals who commit, without evil intent, great wrongs or injuries that lead to their misfortune followed by tragic realization of the true nature of events that led to this destiny; this means. The usual irony in Greek tragedy is that the hero is both extraordinarily capable and moral, it is these exact, highly-admirable qualities that lead the hero into tragic circumstances; the tragic hero is snared by his or her own greatness: extraordinary competence, a righteous passion for duty, the arrogance associated with greatness. The influence of the Aristotelian hero extends past classical Greek literary criticism. Greek theater had a direct and profound influence on Roman theater and formed the basis of Western theater that continues into the modern era influencing a wide variety of arts throughout the world, in diverse mediums such as literature, film and video games.
Many iconic characters featured in these genres follow the archetype of the tragic hero. Examples of such characters include Anakin Skywalker from George Lucas' Star Wars films, Okonkwo from Nigerian author Chinua Achebe's novel Things Fall Apart, Arthas Menethil from the video game franchise Warcraft, Stannis Baratheon from George R. R. Martin's novel series A Song of Ice and Fire and the HBO television series adaptation Game of Thrones. One example of a tragic hero in modern film is the D. A. Harvey Dent in The Dark Knight; some film historians regard Michael Corleone of The Godfather a tragic hero, although using traditional literary conventions, the character would more fit the role of villain, not tragic hero