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An enemy loved


Disciplines > Storytelling > Plots > Polti's Situations > An enemy loved

Description | Discussion | See also


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  • The Beloved Enemy
  • The Lover
  • The Hater


The Lover loves the Beloved Enemy. The Hater hates the Lover for this betrayal.



  1. The loved one hated by kinsmen of the lover
  2. The lover pursued by the brothers of his beloved
  3. The lover hated by the family of his beloved
  4. The lover is a son of a man hated by the kinsmen of his beloved
  5. The lover is an enemy of the party of the woman who loves him


  1. The lover is the slayer of the father of his beloved
  2. The beloved is the slayer of the father of her lover
  3. The beloved is the slayer of the brother of her lover
  4. The beloved is the slayer of the husband of the woman who loves him, but who has previously sworn to avenge that husband
  5. The beloved is the slayer of a previous lover of the woman who loves him, but who has previously sworn to avenge the dead lover
  6. The beloved is a slayer of a kinsman of the woman who loves him
  7. The beloved is the daughter of the slayer of her lover's father


We cannot always choose who we love and even those against whom we fight or those who have done us a terrible wrong can become unbelievably attractive for us.

One cause of this is that we often find powerful people attractive, perhaps because they remind us of our fathers or perhaps because we would like to be powerful too, and so seek to associate with them, even when they have done us a deep wrong. This also harks to childhood, where we may have sought to gain the love of a stern father or perhaps offered love as a succour against his terrible power.

This deep association with childhood emotions makes such situations touch unknown chords in us that lets such story elements move us in unexpected ways.

The Hater in this situation has a difficult dilemma. They are supposed to be on the same side as the Lover, yet the Lover is not acting as if they are on the same side. Is the Lover an enemy or a friend? It can be rather unclear as the Lover sympathizes with the Enemy and possibly the Enemy's cause.

'An enemy loved' is the 29th of Georges Polti's 36 Dramatic Situations.

See also

Involuntary crimes of love, Power, Coping Mechanisms

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