Deus ex Machina

Comments

129 comments posted
true

True true true XD You are very right :)

Posted by Anonymous on Wed, 10/10/2012 - 21:36
Mythology

There is a lot of Deux ex Machina in mythology. Heroes in Greek mythology are supposedly able to lift tons of rock or complete impossible challenges, and the only explanation for these feats would be godly intervention. This theory is probably what made ancient Egyptians believe that magicians could use the gods' power to perform miracles and spells. Same goes for Christanity and Jesus' miracles.

Posted by Anonymous on Tue, 05/08/2012 - 22:22
Not good examples.

The feats of strength of mythological Greek heroes or the miracles of Jesus do not necessarily constitute Deus ex Machina. In the case of Christianity, Jesus, as a manifestation of God, is imbued with God's powers. The ability to perform miracles is part of his nature. A Greek hero such as Hercules has immense strength due to his divine parentage.

Deus ex Machina is a bit different. If an otherwise normal person trapped on a burning, sinking ship suddenly sprouts wings and flies to safety, for no apparent reason and with no precedent for this sort of thing happening in the story, that is Deus ex Machina. If Jesus raises the dead or Hercules performs a seemingly impossible feat of strength, it is assumed to be part of their divine nature; one is a demigod while the other, again, is a manifestation of God. Their natures being known to the reader provides a logical explanation for their miraculous actions.

An unexpected occurrence that resolves a problem isn't automatically Deus ex Machina. Deus ex Machina is identifiable by being completely out of place, unprecedented, or unjustifiable within the context of the story.

Posted by Anonymous on Wed, 11/13/2013 - 22:11
Good example

In triumph of caesar it ends with the main character seeing the future if he failed and caesar did get asassinated, but then it rewinded and he was able to save the day and figure out who the bad guy was without doing any real detective work... Great series but bummer ending :(

Posted by Anonymous on Wed, 05/02/2012 - 03:14
Another example, mostly for the Brits...

Steven Moffat is freaking ADDICTED to deus ex machina.

Posted by Anonymous on Mon, 04/16/2012 - 23:51
Clara

*Cough* the impossible girl *cough*

Posted by Anonymous on Sun, 06/02/2013 - 20:21
Yes

Yes. Yes. Yes.

Posted by Anonymous on Mon, 08/06/2012 - 04:11
Lord of the Flies

I thought that the ending of Lord of the Flies was a sort of deus ex machina, because the army guy apeared out of nowhere to rescue them...

Posted by Anonymous on Tue, 04/10/2012 - 04:37
Not Quite

When Simon's crew set the island's forest on fire it showed the sailor to where the boys were. When the boys are at their worst point, society re-initializes and they return to their conditioned, civilized manner. The ending is meant to be abrupt for that reason: to highlight the juxtaposition between a society that imploded (no good structure) and a society that can save the boys (adults). The reader does tend to wonder, though...Who will save the adults from the war and from themselves?

Posted by Anonymous on Fri, 04/12/2013 - 09:30
I don't think that was so

I don't think that was so much put in as rescue (or deus ex machina) as to provide a contrast. It was anarchy meets discipline, wilderness meets civilization. Now, if the whole island had been blown up or sunk into the sea, yeah, I would call deus ex machina on it.

Posted by Anonymous on Mon, 07/30/2012 - 04:37
Watership Down

One of the final chapters of Watership Down by Richard Adams is titled "Dea ex Machina" because in it Hazel the rabbit is saved from a cat by a young girl who picks him up, has him patched up by a doctor, and drives him to a field and lets him go.

Posted by Anonymous on Sat, 01/21/2012 - 20:37
Some history

god of machine.... exactly how this term originated. The Greeks used a crane-like machine to "fly" the actors in who were playing the roles of gods.

Posted by Anonymous on Fri, 12/16/2011 - 05:02
Latin not Greek

Deus ex Machina is Latin not Greek so I'm not sure how well that origination works.

Posted by Anonymous on Tue, 08/05/2014 - 18:25
Mistaken

Deus ex machina actually means "god FROM (the) machine". The phrase "of machine" is "machinae".

Posted by Anonymous on Fri, 05/31/2013 - 02:08
Ex is also "out of"

Ex can also be translated "out of". "God out of Machine"

Posted by Anonymous on Tue, 08/05/2014 - 18:27
The final battle in Ivanhoe

The final battle in Ivanhoe comes to mind, where literally God smites the evil knight.

Posted by Anonymous on Sun, 12/11/2011 - 23:49
better example :)

Like in Monty Python's Life of Brian, when Brian falls from a tower he is saved by a bypassing UFO... right? That is Deus ex Machina or whatever it is isn't it? Except that it's funny in its randomness... I don't know.

Posted by Anonymous on Wed, 09/21/2011 - 13:20
Comes from..

it really comes from when plays performed the only way to resolve a conflict was to have a god or holy spirit come down from a machine to save all. notice Deux ex machina=god of machine. was used in mostly religious plays but it is now used more loosely

Posted by Anonymous on Sun, 09/11/2011 - 16:53
ex =/= of

'ex' is Latin for 'out of' or 'from', not 'of'. In old plays they would use a literal apparatus to make a god appear and bring about resolution. The machine wasn't part of the story though...

Posted by Anonymous on Wed, 05/23/2012 - 06:13
the best example

i can't quite agree with you on that one though u are some what a good thinker

Posted by Anonymous on Thu, 09/08/2011 - 20:43
Deus ex Machina

Bergman's SMILES OF A SUMMER NIGHT uses deus ex machina masterfully in its comic climax. Perhaps deus ex machina is more desirable in comic forms.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smiles_of_a_Summer_Night

Posted by Anonymous on Sat, 09/10/2011 - 18:46
john Paul

i cant relate

Posted by Anonymous on Mon, 08/15/2011 - 16:09
above comment

very true, its pathetic really, its basically a lie. The lost writers build up something of unfathomable proportions only to realize they cant end it, thus betraying the audiences trust in their staying true to the story

Posted by Anonymous on Fri, 08/05/2011 - 22:16
Another Example

This is exactly like Breaking Dawn by Stephanie Meyers (the last in the Twilight series). There was a big get together of all these vampires getting ready to fight the Vultore and then Alice comes out of no where with another baby vampire and all is well and no fight happens. LAME ENDING!

Posted by Anonymous on Thu, 07/28/2011 - 21:39
The fight with the Volturi was a mental fight.

Yes, Alice appeared with the half vampire and his vampire sister from South America, and that totally undermined the Volturi's reason for claiming just cause. However, it was Bella's gaining control of her ability to shield that stopped the Volturi twins, Alec and Jane, from incapacitating the Cullens and those who stood with them.

The reason for the Volturi confrontation was political. Aro wanted to add both Edward and especially Alice to his entourage, but needed a reason to act against the Cullens. This is verified by Eleazar of the Denali coven who was once part of the Volturi guard. The Volturi try to provoke the Denali vampires to action by killing Irina for having reported her mistaken assumption as to Renesmee's origin. When Aro can find no way to incite the fight he, and the rest of the Volturi withdraw.

Posted by Anonymous on Thu, 10/18/2012 - 07:12
re:another example

I'm not the biggest Stephanie Meyers fan in the world, but I don't really think the end of Breaking Dawn is an example.
Alice says that she's looking for something else to help and the fact that Renesme even exists gives the situation plausibility. What wouldn't have been plausible is to assume that Edward is the first vampire in the history of histories to have sex with a human and leave them alive. What would have made it an example of deus ex machina would have been if the other half-human, half-vampire would have shown up on his own because he heard about the gathering or because god told him to or he just had a feeling that he would be needed.
Since Alice was traveling the world looking for a solution from the beginning it, it is completely possible that she found another like Renesme

Posted by Anonymous on Thu, 10/11/2012 - 22:53
Re. Another Example

I totally agree! It ruined the whole ending for me!

Posted by Anonymous on Tue, 08/30/2011 - 02:31
The best example...

A current example of this and one that many people will be familiar with is the ending of "Lost". All the build up and mystery of the first seasons was simply explained away with some mystical nothingness.

Posted by Anonymous on Wed, 07/28/2010 - 18:55
i think lost cleverly used

i think lost cleverly used deus ex machina as a motivic device to help propel the meaning of the ending into an unworthy sea of conclusions to help glorify itself. not a noble ending, but clever if you see it that way.

Posted by Anonymous on Fri, 08/17/2012 - 02:04

Post new comment

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

More information about formatting options