Subplots: Twisted and Complicated

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"The drama of the English Renaissance, for example, is full of subplots, secondary stories that parallel or contrast with the main action." (Hamilton 175)

I love subplots in stories and plays. It makes the story so much more twisted and complicated. Shakespeare usually has several subplots taking place throughout his plays and manages to round them up together for the finish. I think subplots keep the audience more alert and interested in what is taking place. Having just one plot can make the story boring and sometimes predictable, but having several always keeps the action going and suspense building. I noticed, especially in Shakespeare, that dramatic irony is usually caused by the subplots taking place. The characters involved in the main plot of the story are unaware of how the characters involved in the subplots are affecting them.

Sometimes though, if a story has too many subplots it becomes too difficult to keep track of everything and everyone envolved. Too many can lead too far away from the main plot and lose the focus and purpose of the story.

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2 Comments

Erica Gearhart said:

You bring up a lot of great points here that I did not really think of, Katie. It was a good idea to relate subplots to Shakespeare. He is one of the authors who is able to use subplots in such a way as so make them understandable and interesting. I also love how you discussed dramatic irony and its relationship to subplots. I had not thought of this before. It is a great point that is almost always present in works that involve subplots.

Good point about Shakespeare. A subplot can be useful to show an exaggerated version of the conflict the main characters face, and when the protagonist reacts to events in the subplot, the audience gets a hint about how the main plot might go.

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