What is dramatic climax and technical climax?

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literaturenerd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I have never heard of a technical climax or dramatic climax. Curious, I needed to look it up. While questions similar to this one have been asked on the Internet, the only references to "technical" and "dramatic" climaxes are found in sites where users can post questions (similar to eNotes). In order to understand the term, let us break them down in order to create definitions. Since the term "climax" is found in each, let us begin with that term.

Climax refers to the turning point in a text. This point is the most intensive in regards to tension. The characters and action are both at their highest point in conflict.

Dramatic Climax- Dramatic refers to two different things (in regards to literature). First, dramatic refers to a drama or performance of a drama. Second, dramatic can mean sudden. Therefore, a dramatic climax can refer to the climax in a drama or a sudden turning point in a piece of literature.

Technical climax- Technical, as far as it can be related to literature, refers to something which can be marked by a specific characteristic. In regards to a technical climax, this would refer to a climax which meets all of the characteristics of the definition of a literary climax (as seen in the definition of climax above).

thanatassa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The term "climax" refers to a specific point within the structure of a drama. It assumes that dramatic works follow a basic plot pattern beginning with exposition of a conflict, moving through rising action in which the conflict is intensified or elaborated, coming to a climax, and then offering a resolution in the falling action and concluding with a dénouement. Within this five-part structure, the dramatic climax is the point of maximum intensity of the work's central conflict and a turning point in the plot. In a traditional five-act play, it occurs in the third act.

Literary scholars normally use the term "climax" without the adjective "dramatic," as the adjective is somewhat redundant, but the term "dramatic climax" is an acceptable alternative. "Technical climax" is not a standard literary term. One might use it in criticizing a play that is badly constructed by saying something along the lines of "Although Act 3 is the technical climax of A Boring Play, it tends to fall flat, lacking in dramatic intensity."