Aristotle in his "Poetics" provides the simplest possible analysis of plot: "a whole has a beginning a middle and an end..."

This is not as useless a recognition as it seems, for if we apply this "beginning, middle, end" idea to narrative we find, as Aristotle did, that stories have three parts of a more precise kind. These are often referred to as "exposition", "complication" and "denouement or resolution".

Stories begin from a certain situation which poses a problem or shows up something lacking. The presentation of this is the "exposition". Thereafter a series of actions produce transformations, which complicate the resolution of the initial problem, "complication". Finally the initial problem is overcome or the lack is filled, resolution.

EXPOSITION of a problem --> COMPLICATION produced by a series of transformations -->  RESOLUTION no more problem

More complex analyses are usually useful, but are not needed for simple stories like that in Amos 7:10-17.

This page is part of the Hypertext Bible Commentary - Amos,

© Tim Bulkeley, 1996-2005, Tim Bulkeley. All rights reserved.