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7. Complicity: Unwitting helping of the enemy

 

Disciplines > Storytelling > Propp's Morphology of the Folk Tale > 7. Complicity: Unwitting helping of the enemy

Description | Discussion | See also

 

Previous: 6. Trickery: Villain attempts to deceive victim

Next: 8. Villainy and lack: The need is identified

 

Description

Symbol: J (theta)

The trickery of the villain now works and the hero or victim naively acts in a way that helps the villain in some way. This may range from providing the villain with something (perhaps a map or magical weapon) to actively working against good people (perhaps the villain has persuaded the hero that these other people are actually bad).

Example

In Star Wars, Leia tells Grand Moff Tarkin that the rebel base is on Dantooine, but Tarkin blows up Alderaan.

In Lord of the Rings, Frodo accidentally puts on the ring and so is exposed to Sauron's eye.

Discussion

We now despair as the hero or victim acts in a way that may be seen as villainous. Perhaps we worry that the hero will fall permanently into the thrall of the villain. Perhaps they will become corrupted and evil also. We also fear for the reputation of the hero who may be perceived as evil and thus never find the true treasure or win the hand of the princess.

See also

Tricks, kicks and bricks

 

Previous: 6. Trickery: Villain attempts to deceive victim

Next: 8. Villainy and lack: The need is identified

 

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