literature, a dénouement ( IPA:IPA|/deˈnuːmɑ̃/) consists of a series of events that follow the climax of a drama or narrative, and thus serves 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", and from "nodus", Latin for "knot." Simply put, dénouement is the unraveling or untying of the complexities of a plot.
The dénouement comprises events after the climax and the falling action (which should not be confused with dénouement).
A good 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. Many of Shakespeare's dramas end in this manner, as do other classical plays. Indeed, dénouement is considered part of the classical dramatic structure.
The Penultimate Peril," the twelfth and second-last book in Lemony Snicket's Series of Unfortunate Events, heavily emphasizes dénouement as a plot point e.g. the character Dewey Denouement, the Hotel Denouement.
Some works have no dénouement, often because of a quick or surprise ending (e.g. "
Lord of the Flies").
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