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What is the definition of denouement?

The definition of denouement is the final part of a play or literary work in which the plot conflicts are resolved.

Denouement

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Last Updated May 25, 2023.

Denouement refers to the final part of a play or literary work in which the plot conflicts are resolved. A work's denouement occurs after its climax.

 

The word denouement comes from the French word dénouement, meaning "untying." It derives from the Latin nodus, meaning "a knot."

 

An example of denouement occurs at the end of Yann Martel's Life of Pi. The novel ends with the line:

Very few castaways can claim to have survived so long at sea as Mr. Patel, and none in the company of an adult Bengal tiger.

While the novel doesn't say with certainty whether Pi was stranded at sea with a tiger or merely imagined it, its denouement draws attention to how unbelievable Pi's story is, leading the reader to wonder what really happened. 

 

see: climaxanticlimax

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