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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

In literature, a dénouement consists of a series of events that follow a dramatic or narrative's climax, thus serving as the conclusion of the story. Conflicts are resolved, creating normality for the characters and a sense of catharsis, or release of tension and anxiety, for the reader. Etymologically, the French word dénouement is derived from the Old French word denoer, "to untie", from nodus, Latin for "knot." Simply put, a dénouement is the unraveling or untying of the complexities of a plot.

Also, the dénouement is the events after the climax and the "Falling Action" occur. Though similar, "Falling Action" is a completely different topic.

A classic example of dénouement is the final scene of Shakespeare’s comedy As You Like It: couples marry, an evildoer repents, two disguised characters are revealed for all to see, and a ruler is restored to power.

There are works which have no dénouement, mainly due to a quick surprise ending (such as Lord of the Flies).

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Dénouement" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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