What is the definiton for the moment of final experience when dealing with literature? What is an example from Romeo and Juliet?  

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Karen P.L. Hardison | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

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By final "experience" I take it you mean "climax." Climax in literature is the moment at which the conflict and the complicating problems are finally conquered and the resolution is set in motion. To use sports as an example, the climax might be likened to the last inning of a baseball game at the moment a short stop catches a fly ball. This catch puts the batter out of play and gives the short stop time to throw to home plate so the third base runner can't score.

This catch by the short stop is the climax because the resolution (conclusion) of the game is set in motion with very little possibility of interference or change. In other words, the ball team fans know how that inning will end. In literature, the climax is like the fly ball catch: It is the moment that determines how the story will conclude.

Sometimes, the climax in literature is the most emotional moment in a story, like the fly ball catch may have been the most emotional moment of the baseball game. But it is not necessarily the most emotional moment. For instance, what if in a story, the protagonist's conflict is with her- or himself, with a decision that must be made. The climax could be a moment like the following hypothetical scene: Frankie stood at the backdoor at the kitchen of the old farmhouse with a finger on the light switch. Looking back over her shoulder at the darkening interior, she finally understood and, in that instant, she knew what it was right to do. Inside her, the courage to do it began to sprout like a seedling that would grow and be her strength when needed.

This scene I have just made up for a nonexistent story is the climax because it is the moment that determines the resolution of the conflict and all the problems--we know this moment has determined the outcome of the story--even though there was no emotion involved. Frankie only paused and look back at the house and, in a moment of revelation, made a decision.

In Romeo and Juliet, the climax--the moment when the resolution is determined--comes in the tomb when Romeo drinks poison, followed by Juliet's awakening and death. The resolution is begun at that point and is ushered in by Juliet's death. In Romeo and Juliet, the climax is indeed the most emotional moment.

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