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 ?
Of all the Machiavellian intriguers of the play, Fortinbras is the only one Hamlet admired at all, and his endorsement of his candidacy for the throne of Denmark just before his death reinforces his admiration with emphasis.
Le cheminement de la Commission durant ces vingt dernieres annees, devrait retenir l'attention, a tout le moins intriguer la ou precisement a ete mis en place un organisme de controle qui s'inspire de ce qui a ete pense et fait au Quebec en 1982.
One by one, from her hidden vantage, Devorah examined the faces of all four, considering their deceit, the same four who entailed her life in the Academy; Solange the paymaster, and Reynolds who appeased, Sandela the intriguer, and Melanie, who whined and provoked.
He was not just a foppish courtier but a wily old bird,an intriguer and a man to be reckoned with.
Mr Norton, for example, called him 'a born intriguer, a partisan, and an underground engineer'.
He moved aside several staff members loyal to Yeltsin and showed the door to Yeltsin's daughter Tatiana Dyachenko, then 39 and long vilified by anti-Yeltsin forces as a palace intriguer.
Nasser is an arch intriguer and a bogus leader," King Faisal of Saudi Arabia told the British ambassador after the 1967 war.
showing influence from Romeo and Juliet, Doctor Benedict works as something of an intriguer, as do a number of these doctors.
Messenger's intellectual forthrightness doesn't prevent him, however, from being a sly departmental intriguer, an effective media pundit and an incorrigible adulterer.
Past projects include black comedy "The Quiet Family" (1998), drama "Happy End" (1999) and steamy intriguer "The Isle" (2000).
A'isha appears variously as a political intriguer, a religious philosopher, a misguided muddier in political and military affairs, and a jealous wife.