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Quibble

 

Disciplines > StorytellingStory Devices > Quibble

Description | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

The 'quibble' is a flaw in an agreement that allows someone to get out of the agreement.

Thus a person may agree to give something, but uses the quibble that another thing that is inseparable was not agreed.

Quibbles may also include double-binds, where the prosecutor may get what is required but also gets something that is highly undesirable, and so refuses to take up the agreement.

Example

In Shakespeare's 'Merchant of Venice', Shylock demands his pound of flesh from Antonio, but who is saved when Portia points out that taking of blood was not agreed.

Discussion

Quibbles in stories allow for excitement as a person makes a stupid agreement, for example a pact with the devil, but then escapes the consequences later by arguing the small print.

Villains also use quibbles to escape having to complete there end of a bargain, and in doing so demonstrate their villainy.

See also

Fallacies

 

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