Climax, a Greek term meaning "ladder", is the specific point in a narrative where conflict or tension reaches its peak. It is a structural part of an action and is sometimes referred to as a "crisis". It is a crucial moment or turning point in an action where the rising action turns into a falling action. So a climax is the point at which a conflict or crisis reaches its climax and then requires a resolution or resolution (conclusion)). In a five-act piece, the climax is near the conclusion of act 3. Later in the 19th century, five-act pieces were replaced with three-act pieces, and the climax became near the conclusion or at the end of the piece.
Examples of the The climax in literature
Let us analyze some examples of the climax in literature:
Example 1: Romeo and Juliet (by William Shakespeare)
In William Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet, the story reaches its climax in act 3, in the first scene of the act challenges Romeo Tybalt to a duel after he (Tybalt) killed Mercutio:
“And fiery-eyed anger be my behavior now!
Now, Tybalt, take the 'villain' back for Mercutio's soul
Is just a little bit above our heads ... "
As soon as Romeo has killed Tybalt, Romeo says:
" O! I am the fool of luck!
He finds out that he killed his wife's cousin. This point in the play is a high point as the audience wonders how Romeo would get out of this dire situation. Similarly, it qualifies as a climax because after this act all previous conflicts begin to resolve and mysteries unfold, bringing the story to its logical conclusion in the ensuing scenes.
Example 2: The Heart of Darkness (by Joseph Conrad)
In Joseph Conrad's novel The Heart of Darkness, the narrative climaxes when Marlowe begins his journey in his steamboat towards the inner station and his final discovery when he reaches the station and meets "Kurtz". He was shocked to discover that Kurtz had given up all norms and morals of his civilization after giving in to the wild customs of the wild Congo. After this point in the novel the secret of Kurtz is revealed and the questions in Marlow's head find their answers automatically when he sees the real situation.
Climax as a stylistic device
As a stylistic device, the term climax refers to a literary device in which words, phrases and Clauses are arranged to increase their importance within the sentence. The following are examples of the climax as a stylistic device:
Example 3: The passionate pilgrim (by William Shakespeare)
See William Shakespeare reaches the passionate pilgrim in the following passage from his sonnet:
"Beauty is only vain and doubtful good,
A brilliant shine, which suddenly fades;
A flower that dies when it becomes a bud for the first time;
A brittle glass that is currently broken:
A doubtfully good, a glo ss, a glass, a flower,
Past, faded, broken, dead within an hour. ”
The expression“ dead within an hour ”comes at the very end, since he marks the culmination of the fate of beauty, which he introduces as "A vain and dubious good."
Example 4: I Have a Dream Speech (By Martin Luther King, Jr. )
“This note was a promise that all men, yes black and white men, would be guaranteed the inalienable rights of life, freedom and the pursuit of happiness.”
This line from Martin Luther King's famous speech I Have A Dream That is considered the climax of the speech. He criticizes and opposes racial discrimination of black Americans by white Americans.
A climax feature helps readers understand the meaning of the action that has previously been rising to the point in the plot where the conflict reaches its climax. The climax of the story prepares the reader mentally for resolving the conflict. It is therefore important for the plot structure of a story. In addition, the climax is used as a style device or idiom to restore balance and brevity to language or writing. As pre-employed, it qualifies as a powerful tool that can immediately grab the undivided attention of listeners and readers. Therefore, its importance should not be underestimated.
Popular Literary Devices
- Ad Hominem
- Deus Ex Machina
- Double Entendre
- Flash Forward
- Half Rhyme
- Internal Rhyme
- Line Break
- Non Sequitur
- Pathetic Fallacy
- Poetic Justice
- Point of View
- Red Herring
- Tragic Flaw