Peripeteia


This expression is defined as a sudden and gradual change of situation due to an unforeseen accident that can alter the state or condition of things, based on an analogous composition or drama. Any accident, danger, unforeseen event or trance or a sudden change in situation or situation.

In the world of fiction, it is common for the main characters to experience all kinds of adventures throughout history. The writer is telling what happens to the characters and to emphasize that the plot is necessary for it to happen suddenly and unexpectedly, and in this sense a vicissitude is an unforeseen change in the course of events.

In the history of literature, the adventures of Ulysses, Don Quixote, Tom Sayer, Romeo and Juliet or Martín Fierro are celebrated. If we take any of these characters as a reference, what happens to them (the vicissitudes) can be lucky or unlucky, dangerous or accidental. In other words, the adventures of the characters are a mixture of events of all kinds.

From a literary point of view, some genres are based precisely on the succession of events of a different nature, as occurs in historical novels, romantic stories, adventure novels or biographies. In other genres, the vicissitudes have a secondary value or are non-existent, as in the philosophical essay or literary criticism. In short, it could be said that there are vicissitudes when telling a story.

The Greek philosopher Aristotle explains in one of his works that vicissitude is a change of luck: tragedies unfold in a certain way until some action of a character causes happiness to pass into misery. This modification is the event.

A clear example of this can be found in the work “Antigone” by Sophocles. In this case, the protagonist, who is the one who gives the tragedy its title, will experience its vicissitudes at the moment in which she is imprisoned, after burying her brother, and is condemned to be buried alive.

In the same way, there are also many vicissitudes such as those raised in Ancient Greece by the characters in works such as «Oedipus Rex«. Not forgetting those Ulysses faces in “The Odyssey.”