deus ex machina


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deus ex machina

1. A god in an ancient Greek or Roman play that suddenly appears in the storyline in order to solve a problem or decide an outcome. The Latin phrase translates to "god from a machine," referring to the machinery that lowered it onto the stage. The ancient Greek play makes use of a deus ex machina in which Apollo arrives on stage to restore order among the other characters.
2. An ending in a performance or story that seems too contrived to be believable to the audience. Modern critics often pan 1980s-era television shows for the typical deus ex machina that writers often used to neatly wrap up episodes.
See also: ex
References in periodicals archive ?
After intermission, the deus ex machina of the modern stage (disease) dropped its other shoe and we learned that Linda has survived lymphoma.
TORONTO A Harbourfront Centre presentation of a Deus Ex Machina production of a play in two acts by Robert Lepage, with the collaboration of Adam Nashman.
The story revolves around a Ziegfeld-style producer who's losing his leading lady to marriage, the gangsters who have invested in the show and don't like losing their star one bit, the shady Latin lover brought in to seduce the bride away who falls instead for her chaperone, the chorine who finally gets her big break and an aviatrix ("or feminist, as she's called now"), who serves as a deus ex machina.
Briefly, "Cherry" has dim -- very dim -- shades of "Four Weddings and a Funeral" and "Arthur," with an inevitable dose of deus ex machina in a climactic wedding sequence.
All the boomer-friendly elements are here: The warmly upscale Manhattan and Hudson Valley abodes, the ever-perplexing conflict between super-momdom and nifty career, the adorably smart kids tossed about by divorce, the lack of any money problems, the middle-aged dad angst-ridden over having dumped same-aged wife for hot young babe, and a deus ex machina in the form of a fatal disease that triggers some noble suffering and emotional focusing all around.
Before long the original text is happily abandoned again, as the show grabs an ending out of thin air, courtesy of a certain multibillionaire cast as deus ex machina.
Ball and screenwriter T S Nowlin keep a tight grip on the tone and the relentless pace, but they often back the story and characters into corners that only a deus ex machina can fix.
Sci-fi computers have a habit of turning on their human creators, and while Skynet is probably the most iconic vision of the singularity, the Matrix and its Deus Ex Machina is another horrifying vision of our future.
Terms such as agency are well illustrated, while others, such as deus ex machina and related fictitious terms, have confusing, abstract definitions in conflict with the classics.
Stringham explains that the deus ex machina plot device "is named for Greek plays that used gods played by actors suspended on cranes to suddenly solve characters' problems" In many social science and policy debates, he writes, "theorists think of potential problems and assume government can solve them" Those who advocate government enforcement rarely explain why they think that governments will have the incentives or the information to do their job well.
In classical Greek tragedies, deus ex machina was a divinity appearing on the scene at the end of the play (descending from a wooden crane -- the machina) to provide a solution to the deadlock that the play had been led into.
Esplendida por las obras que contiene y muy sugerente como proyecto curatorial, la exposicion Deus ex machina.
While the device employed is actually quite satisfactory, it is both too closely linked to the deus ex machina and, consequently, naggingly incomplete.
BIKES GOING UNDER THE HAMMER JAMES MAY 1974 Yamaha 49cc FS1-E - PS2,000-2,400 1976 Suzuki AP50 E - PS2,000-2,400 1980 Ossa 250cc MAR Trials Motorcycle - PS1,200-1,500 1979 Suzuki TS250 - PS800-1,200 1973 Honda CD175 - PS1,400-1,800 1975 Honda CB200 - PS1,500-1,800 1971 Kawasaki 250cc A1 Samurai - PS5,000-6,000 2010 Yamaha SR400 'Grievous Angel' by Deus Ex Machina - PS8,000-12,000 RICHARD HAMMOND Lot 334: 1977 Honda GL1000 Gold Wing - PS4,000-6,000 Lot 335: 2010 Norton Commando 961SE - PS14,500-18,500 Lot 336: 1970 Triton 500cc 'Cafe Racer' - PS6,500-8,500 Lot 337: 1975 Yamaha 49cc FS1-E - PS2,500-3,500
In ancient performances deus ex machina involved a real machina, specifically a crane.