Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Word of the Day

deus ex machina (noun) - literally meaning "god out of a machine," 
describes an artificial, or improbable, character, device, or event 
introduced suddenly in a work of fiction or drama to resolve a 
situation or untangle a plot.  Having its origins in the conventions 
of Greek tragedy, it refers to situations in which a mechane (crane) 
was used to lower actors playing a god or gods onto the stage.

The deus ex machina plot device is parodied in Mel Brook's 
"History of the World:  Part 1." Near the end, the king's body 
double is about to be executed when a horse named "Miracle" 
arrives and rescues the double and his friends.  When the 
double comments that the time gap is too big for one man to 
live through, the driver retorts that the movie is only fiction 
so it does not matter.

No comments: