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Script Analysis for Actors, Directors, and Designers, 4th Edition by James Thomas

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CHAPTER 4

External and Internal Action

The word plot comes from two sources: the Old French word complot, meaning a secret scheme, and from the English word plat, meaning a plan or map. It has an added sense of its parts being packed together. Plot has parallel meanings related to secret intrigues or conspiracies and to suspense. Aristotle believed that plot was the first principle and the soul of drama. He described it as the imitation of the dramatic action (action performed with a significant goal in mind) and the arrangement of the incidents. He also said that the most effective plots have a beginning, middle, and end and represent single complete dramatic action.

Critics continue to debate Aristotle’s statements about plot, but that is not ...

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