Intrigue

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Intrigue

 

in literature, a complicated and intense interweaving of events as a method of structuring the action or plot in novels (mostly in adventure novels) and in drama. It develops out of the sharp clash between the main characters’ interests and their purposeful, often secret struggle. An example is the intrigue over the letter about the guardianship in F. M. Dostoevsky’s novel A Raw Youth. The peripeteia involving the letter also reveals the “tragedy of the underground” and the “ethical duality” of the protagonists.

Intrigue

See also Conspiracy.
Borgias
15th-century family who stopped at nothing to gain power. [Ital. Hist.: Plumb, 59]
Ems dispatch
Bismarck’s purposely provocative memo on Spanish succession; sparked Franco-Prussian war (1870). [Ger. Hist.: NCE, 866]
Machiavelli, Nicolò
(1469–1527) author of book extolling political cunning. [Ital. Hist.: The Prince]
Mannon, Lavinia
undoes adulterous mother by brainwashing brother. [Am. Lit.: Mourning Becomes Electra]
Mission Impossible
team of investigators with Byzantine modus operandi. [TV: “Mission Impossible” in Terrace, II, 100–101]
Paolino
has cohort woo his covertly wed wife. [Ital. Opera: Cimarosa, The Secret Marriage, Westerman, 63]
Phormio
slick lawyer finagles on behalf of two men. [Rom. Lit.: Phormio]
Ruritania
imaginary pre-WWI kingdom, rife with political machinations. [Br. Lit.: Prisoner of Zenda]
X Y Z Affair
thinly disguised extortion aroused anti-French feelings (1797–1798). [Am. Hist.: Jameson, 564]
References in periodicals archive ?
The concept of infinity had long intrigued Escher, and he had sought to capture this elusive notion in visual images.
Libraries whose patrons, whether Indian or non-Indian, are intrigued with the history and culture of Native America will want to have this superbly written book on their shelves.
All wolves were believed to have disappeared from Wisconsin in the 1950s, but Thiel, even in high school, was intrigued by the presence of wolf signs he taught himself to recognize.
A hush falls over the room of intrigued scientists at the Boston Marriott.
Intrigued by this possibility, McMahon and Irwin decided to take a closer look at their data.
Sending out bursts of radio waves up to 600 times a second, millisecond pulsars have intrigued astronomers since a discovery four years ago that some reside at the heart of dense amalgams of Milky Way stars.
Psychiatrists have long accepted that stress can play a role in bringing on episodes of major depression, especially in young adults, but Gold is intrigued by the parallels between the biological stress response and what happens in the body during depression itself.
Jason Morgan at Princeton (N.J.)University is intrigued by these possible correlations.