© 2008,2019 by Zack Smith. All rights reserved.
Derived from Georges Polti. The 37th may not be authentic Polti.
1. Supplication (To humbly petition).
- A persecutor
- A humble petitioner
- A power in authority whose decision is doubtful.
- A1 Fugitives imploring the powerful for help against their enemies.
- A2 Assistance implored for the performance of a pious duty which has been forbidden.
- A3 Appeals for refuge in which to die.
- B1 Hospitality besought by the shipwrecked.
- B2 Charity entreated by those cast off by their own people, whom they have disgraced.
- B3 Expiration: the seeking of pardon, healing or deliverance.
- B4 The surrender of a corpse, or relic, solicited.
- C1 Supplication of the powerful for those dear to the suppliant.
- C2 Supplication to a relative in behalf of another relative.
- C3 Supplication to a mother's lover, in her behalf.
- An unfortunate
- A threatener
- A rescuer
- A Appearance of a rescuer to the condemned.
- B1 A parent replaced on the throne by his children.
- B2 Rescue by friends, or by strangers grateful for benefits or hospitality.
3. Crime Punished by Vengeance.
- An avenger
- A criminal.
- A1 The avenging of a slain parent or ancestor.
- A2 The avenging of a slain child or descendant.
- A3 Vengeance for a child dishonored.
- A4 The avenging of a slain wife or husband.
- A5 Vengeance for the dishonor, or the attempted dishonoring, of a wife.
- A6 Vengeance for a mistress slain.
- A7 Vengeance for a slain or injured friend.
- A8 Vengeance for a sister seduced.
- B1 Vengeance for intentional injury or spoilation.
- B2 Vengeance for having been despoiled during absence.
- B3 Revenge for an attempted slaying.
- B4 Revenge for a false accusation.
- B5 Vengeance for violation.
- B6 Vengeance for having been robbed of one's own.
- B7 Revenge upon a whole sex for a deception by one.
- C Professional pursuit of criminals.
4. Vengeance Taken for Kindred upon Kindred.
- Avenging kinsman
- Guilty kinsman
- Remembrance of the victim
- A relative of both.
- A1 A father's death avenged upon a mother.
- A2 A mother avenged upon a father.
- B A brother's death avenged upon a son.
- C A father's death avenged upon a husband.
- D A husband's death avenged upon a father.
- A Fugitives from justice pursued for crimes, political offenses, etc.
- B Pursued for a fault of love.
- C The hero struggling against a power.
- D The pseudo-madman struggling against an alienist.
- A vanquished power
- A victorious enemy or a messenger
- A1 Defeat suffered.
- A2 A fatherland destroyed.
- A3 The fall of humanity.
- A4 A natural catastrophe.
- B A monarch overthrown.
- C1 Ingratitude suffered.
- C2 The suffering of unjust punishment or enmity.
- C3 An outrage suffered.
- D1 Abandonment by a lover or a husband.
- D2 Children lost by their parents.
7. Falling Prey to Cruelty or Misfortune.
- An unfortunate
- A master or a misfortune.
- A The innocent made the victim of ambitious intrigue.
- B The innocent despoiled by those who should protect.
- C1 The powerful dispossessed and wretched.
- C2 A favorite or an intimate finds himself forgotten.
- D The unfortunate robbed of their only hope.
- A1 A conspiracy chiefly of one individual.
- A2 A conspiracy of several.
- B1 Revolt of one individual, who influences and involves others.
- B2 A revolt of many.
9. Daring Enterprise.
- A bold leader
- An object
- An adversary.
- A Preparations for war.
- B1 War.
- B2 Combat.
- C1 Carrying off a desired person or object.
- C2 Recapture of a desired object.
- D1 Adventurous expeditions.
- D2 Adventure undertaken for the purpose of obtaining a beloved woman.
- The abductor
- The abducted
- The guardian
- A Abduction of an unwilling woman.
- B Abduction of a consenting woman.
- C1 Recapture of the woman without the slaying of the abductor.
- C2 The same case, with the slaying of the ravisher.
- D1 Rescue of a captive friend.
- D2 Of a child.
- D3 Of a soul in captivity to error.
11. The Enigma.
- A Search for a person who must be found on pain of death.
- B1 A riddle to be solved on pain of death.
- B2 The same case, in which the riddle is proposed by the coveted woman.
- C1 Temptations suffered with the object of discovering his name.
- C2 Temptations offered with the object of ascertaining the sex.
- C3 Tests for the purpose of ascertaining the mental condition.
- A solicitor
- An adversary who is refusing
- An arbitrator opposing parties
- A Efforts to obtain an object by ruse or force.
- B Endeavor by means of persuasive eloquence alone.
- C Eloquence with an arbitrator.
13. Enmity of Kinsmen.
- A malevolent kinsman
- A hated or reciprocally hating kinsman
- A Hatred of brothers:
- A1 One brother hated by several.
- A2 Reciprocal hatred.
- A3 Hatred between relatives for reasons of self-interest.
- B Hatred of father and son:
- B1 Of the son for the father.
- B2 Mutual hatred.
- B3 Hatred of daughter for father.
- C Hatred of grandfather for grandson.
- D Hatred of father-in-law for son-in-law.
- E Hatred of mother-in-law for son-in-law.
- F Infanticide.
14. Rivalry of Kinsmen.
- The preferred kinsman
- The rejected kinsman
- The object.
- A1 Malicious rivalry of a brother.
- A2 Malicious rivalry of two brothers.
- A3 Rivalry of two brothers, with adultery on the part of one.
- A4 Rivalry of sisters.
- B1 Rivalry of father and son, for an unmarried woman.
- B2 Rivalry of father and son, for a married woman.
- B3 Case similar to the two foregoing, but in which the object is already the wife of the father.
- B4 Rivalry of mother and daughter.
- C Rivalry of cousins.
- D Rivalry of friends.
15. Murderous Adultery.
- Two adulterers
- Betrayed husband or wife
- A1 The slaying of a husband by or for a paramour.
- A2 The slaying of a trusting lover.
- B Slaying of a wife for a paramour, and in self-interest.
- A1 Kinsman slain in madness.
- A2 A lover slain in madness.
- A3 Slaying or injuring of a person not hated.
- B Disgrace brought upon oneself through madness.
- C Loss of loved ones brought about by madness.
- D Madness brought on by fear of hereditary insanity.
17. Fatal Imprudence.
- The imprudent
- The victim or the object lost.
- A1 Imprudence the cause of one's own misfortune.
- A2 Imprudence the cause of one's own dishonor.
- B1 Curiosity the cause of one's own misfortune.
- B2 Loss of the possession of a loved one, through curiosity.
- C1 Curiosity the cause of death or misfortune to others.
- C2 Imprudence the cause of a relative's death.
- C3 Imprudence the cause of a lover's death.
- C4 Credulity the cause of kinsman's death.
- The lover
- The loved
- The revealer.
- A1 Discovery that one has married one's mother.
- A2 Discovery that one has had one's sister as mistress.
- B1 Discovery that one has married one's sister.
- B2 The same case, in which the crime has been villainously planned by a third person.
- B3 Being upon the point of taking one's sister, unknowingly, as a mistress.
- C Being upon the point of violating, unknowingly, a daughter.
- D1 Being upon the point of committing an adultery, unknowingly.
- D2 Adultery committed unknowingly.
19. Slaying of a Kinsman Unrecognized.
- The slayer
- The unrecognized victim
- A1 Being upon the point of slaying a daughter unknowingly, by command of a divinity or an oracle.
- A2 Through political necessity.
- A3 Through a rivalry in love.
- A4 Through hatred of the lover of the unrecognized daughter.
- B1 Being upon the point of killing a son unknowingly.
- B2 The same as case B1, strengthened by Machiavellian instigation.
- B3 The same as case (B2), intermixed with hatred of kinsmen.
- C Being upon the point of killing one's brother unknowingly:
- C1 Brothers slaying in anger.
- C2 A sister slaying through professional duty.
- D Slaying of a mother unrecognized.
- E1 A father slain unknowingly through Machiavellian advice.
- E2 The simple slaying of a father unrecognized.
- E3 The same case reduced from murder to simple insult.
- F1 A grandfather slain unknowingly, in vengeance and through instigation.
- F2 Slain involuntarily.
- F3 A father-in-law killed involuntarily.
- G1 Involuntary killing of a loved woman.
- G2 Upon the point of killing a lover unrecognized.
- G3 Failure to rescue an unrecognized son.
20. Self-Sacrificing for an Ideal.
- The hero
- The ideal
- The creditor or the person or things sacrificed.
- A1 Sacrifice of life for the sake of one's word.
- A2 Life sacrificed for the success of one's people.
- A3 Life sacrificed for the happiness of one's people.
- A4 Life sacrificed in filial piety.
- A5 Life sacrificed for the sake of one's faith.
- B1 Both love and life sacrificed for the sake of a cause.
- B2 Love sacrificed to interests of state.
- C Sacrifice of well-being to duty.
- D The ideal of honor sacrificed to the ideal of faith.
21. Self-Sacrifice for Kindred.
- The hero
- The kinsman
- The creditor or the person or thing sacrificed.
- A1 Life sacrificed for that of a relative or loved one.
- A2 Life sacrificed for the happiness of a relative or loved one.
- B1 Ambition sacrificed for the happiness of a parent.
- B2 Ambition sacrificed for the life of a parent.
- C1 Love sacrificed for the sake of a parent's life.
- C2 For the happiness of one's child.
- C3 For the happiness of a loved one.
- C4 The same as 2, but caused by unjust laws.
- D1 Life and honor sacrificed for the life of a parent or loved one.
- D2 Modesty sacrificed for the life of a relative or a loved one.
22. All Sacrificed for a Passion.
- The lover
- The object of the fatal passion,
- The person or thing sacrificed.
- A1 Religious vows of chastity broken for passion.
- A2 A vow of purity broken.
- A3 Respect for a priest destroyed.
- A4 Power ruined by a passion.
- A5 Ruin of mind, health, and life.
- A6 Passion gratified at the price of life.
- A7 Ruin of fortunes, lives, and honor.
- B Temptations (see 12) destroying the sense of duty, pity, etc.
- C1 Destruction of honor, fortune, and life by erotic vice.
- C2 The same effect produced by any other vice.
23. Necessity of Sacrificing Loved Ones.
- The hero
- The beloved victim
- The necessity for the sacrifice.
- A1 Necessity for sacrificing a daughter in the public interest.
- A2 Duty of sacrificing her in fulfillment of a vow to God.
- B1 Duty of sacrificing, under the same circumstances, one's father.
- B3 Duty of sacrificing, under the same circumstances, one's husband.
- B4 Duty of sacrificing a son-in-law for the public good.
- B5 Same case under the sake of reputation.
- B6 Duty of contending with a brother-in-law for the public good.
- B7 Duty of contending with a friend.
24. Rivalry of Superior and Inferior.
- The superior rival
- The inferior rival
- The object.
- A Masculine rivalries.
- A1 Of a mortal and immortal.
- A2 Of two divinities of unequal power.
- A3 Of a magician and an ordinary man.
- A4 Of conqueror and conquered.
- A5 Of victor and vanquished.
- A6 Of a master and a banished man.
- A7 Of usurper and subject.
- A8 Of Suzerian King and Vassal Kings.
- A9 Of a powerful person and upstart.
- A10 Of rich and poor.
- A11 Of an honored man and a suspected one.
- A12 Rivalry of two who are almost equal.
- A13 Rivalry of equals, one of whom in the past has been proved guilty of adultery.
- A14 Of a man who is loved and one who has not the right to love.
- A15 Of the two (or more) successive husbands of a divorcee.
- B Feminine rivalries.
- B1 Of a sorceress and an ordinary woman.
- B2 Of victor and prisoner.
- B3 Of a queen and slave.
- B4 Of lady and servant.
- B5 Of a lady and a woman of humbler position.
- B6 Of a lady and two women of humbler class.
- B7 Rivalry of two who are almost equals, complicated by the abandonment of one.
- B8 Rivalry between the memory or an ideal (that of a superior woman) and a vassal of her own.
- B9 Rivalry of mortal and immortal.
- C Double rivalry (A loves B, who loves C, who loves D).
- D Oriental rivalries (Hindu polygamy).
- D1 Rivalry of two immortals.
- D2 Of two mortals.
- D3 Of two lawful wives.
- A deceived husband or wife
- Two adulterers.
- A A mistress betrayed:
- A1 For a young woman.
- A2 For a young wife.
- A3 For a girl.
- B A wife betrayed:
- B1 For a slave, who does not love in return.
- B2 For debauchery.
- B3 For a married woman.
- B4 With the intention of bigamy.
- B5 For a young girl, who does not love in return.
- B6 A wife envied by a young girl who is in love with her husband.
- B7 By a courtesan.
- B8 Rivalry between a lawful wife who is antipathetic and a mistress who is congenial.
- B9 Between a generous wife and an impassioned girl.
- C1 An antagonistic husband sacrificed for a congenial lover.
- C2 A husband, believed to be lost, forgotten for a rival.
- C3 A commonplace husband sacrificed for a sympathetic lover.
- C4 A good husband betrayed for an inferior rival.
- C5 For a grotesque rival.
- C6 For an odious rival.
- C7 For a commonplace rival, by a perverse wife.
- C8 For a less handsome, but useful rival (with comic false suspicions).
- D1 Vengeance of a deceived husband.
- D2 Jealousy sacrificed out of pity.
- E A husband persecuted by a rejected rival.
26. Crimes of Love.
- The lover
- The betrayed
- A1 A mother in love with her son.
- A2 A daughter in love with her father.
- A3 Violation of a daughter by her father.
- B1 A woman enamored of her stepson.
- B2 A woman and her stepson enamored of each other.
- B3 A woman being the mistress, at the same time, of a father and son, both of whom accept the situation.
- C1 A man becomes the lover of his sister-in-law.
- C2 The man alone becomes enamored.
- C3 A brother and sister in love with each other.
- D1 A man enamored of another man, who yields.
- D2 A woman enamored of a bull.
27. Discovery of the Dishonor of a Loved One.
- The discoverer
- The guilty one
- A1 Discovery of a mother's shame.
- A2 Discovery of a father's shame.
- A3 Discovery of a daughter's dishonor.
- B1 Discovery that one's wife has been violated before marriage ... since the marriage.
- B2 That she previously committed a fault.
- B3 Discovery that one's wife has formerly been a prostitute.
- B4 Discovery of dishonor on the part of a lover.
- B5 Discovery that one's mistress, formerly a prostitute, has returned to her old life.
- B6 Discovery that one's lover is a scoundrel, or that one's mistress is a woman of bad character ... the same discovery concerning a so-called king.
- B7 The same discovery concerning one's wife.
- C Discovery that one's son is an assassin.
- D1 Duty of punishing a son who is a traitor to country. A brother who is a traitor to his party.
- D2 Duty of punishing a son condemned under a law which the father has made.
- D3 Duty of punishing a son believed to be guilty.
- D4 Duty of sacrificing, to fulfill a vow of tyrannicide, a father until then unknown.
- D5 Duty of punishing a brother who is an assassin.
- D6 Duty of punishing one's mother to avenge one's father.
28. Obstacles to Love.
- Two lovers
- An obstacle.
- A1 Marriage prevented by inequality of rank.
- A2 Inequality of fortune an impediment to marriage.
- B Marriage prevented by enemies and contingent obstacles.
- C1 Marriage forbidden on account of the young woman's previous betrothal to another.
- C2 The same case, complicated by an imaginary marriage of the beloved object.
- D1 A free union impeded by the opposition of relatives.
- D2 Family affection disturbed by the parents-in-law.
- E By the incompatibility of temper of the lovers.
- F Love.
29. An Enemy Loved.
- The beloved enemy
- The lover
- The hater.
- A The loved one hated by the kinsman of the lover.
- A1 The lover pursued by the brothers of his beloved.
- A2 The lover hated by the family of his beloved.
- A3 The lover is the son of a man hated by the kinsmen of his beloved.
- A4 The beloved is an enemy of the party of the woman who loves him.
- B1 The lover is the slayer of the father of his beloved.
- B2 The beloved is the slayer of the father of the beloved.
- B3 The beloved is the slayer of the brother of her lover.
- B4 The beloved is the slayer of the husband of the woman who loves him, but who has previously sworn to avenge that husband.
- B5 The same case, except that a lover, instead of a husband, has been slain.
- B6 The beloved is the slayer of a kinsman of the woman who loves him.
- B7 The beloved is the daughter of the slayer of her lover's father.
- An ambitious person
- A thing coveted
- An adversary.
- A1 Ambition watched and guarded against by a kinsman or patriot friend or by a brother.
- A2 By a relative or person under obligation.
- A3 By partisans.
- B Rebellious ambition (akin to #8).
- C1 Ambition and covetousness heaping crime upon crime.
- C2 Parricidal ambition.
31. Conflict with a God.
- A mortal
- An immortal
- A1 Struggle against a deity.
- A2 Strife with the believers in a god.
- B1 Controversy with a deity.
- B2 Punishment for contempt of a god.
- B3 Punishment for pride before a god.
- B4 Presumptuous rivalry with a god.
- B5 Imprudent rivalry with a deity.
32. Mistaken Jealousy.
- The jealous one
- The object of whose possession he is jealous
- the supposed accomplice
- The cause or the author of the mistake
- A1 The mistake originates in the suspicious mind of the jealous one.
- A2 Mistaken jealousy aroused by a fatal chance.
- A3 Mistaken jealousy of a love which is purely platonic.
- A4 Baseless jealousy aroused by malicious rumors.
- B1 Jealousy suggested by a traitor who is moved by hatred.
- B2 The same case, in which the traitor is moved by self-interest.
- B3 The same case, in which the traitor is moved by jealousy and self-interest.
- C1 Reciprocal jealousy suggested to husband and wife by a rival.
- C2 Jealousy suggested to the husband by a woman who is in love with him.
- C3 Jealousy suggested to the wife by a second rival.
- C4 Jealousy suggested to a happy lover by a deceived husband.
33. Erroneous Judgement.
- The mistaken one
- The victim of the mistake
- The cause or author of the mistake
- The guilty person
- A1 False suspicion where faith is necessary.
- A2 False suspicion (in which the jealousy is not without reason) of a mistress.
- A3 False suspicions aroused by a misunderstood attitude of a loved one.
- A4 By indifference.
- B1 False suspicions drawn upon oneself to save a friend.
- B2 They fall upon the innocent husband of the guilty one.
- B3 The same case as B2, but in which the innocent had a guilty intention or in which the innocent believes himself guilty.
- B4 A witness to a crime, in the interest of a loved one, lets accusation fall upon the innocent.
- C1 The accusation is allowed to fall upon an enemy.
- C2 The error is provoked by an enemy.
- C3 The mistake is directed against the victim by her brother.
- D1 False suspicion thrown by the real culprit upon one of his enemies.
- D2 Thrown by the real culprit upon the second victim against whom he has plotted from the beginning.
- D3 False suspicion thrown upon a rival.
- D4 Thrown upon one innocent, because he has refused to be an accomplice.
- D5 Thrown by a deserted mistress upon a lover who left her because he would not deceive her husband.
- D6 Struggle to rehabilitate oneself and to avenge a judicial error purposely caused.
- The culprit
- The victim or the sin
- The interrogator.
- A1 Remorse for an unknown crime.
- A2 Remorse for parricide.
- A3 Remorse for an assassination... for a judicial murder.
- A4 Remorse for the murder of husband or wife.
- B1 Remorse for a fault of love.
- B2 Remorse for adultery.
35. Recovery of a Lost One.
- The seeker
- The one found.
36. Loss of Loved Ones.
- A kinsman slain
- A kinsman spectator
- An executioner
- A1 Witnessing the slaying of kinsmen, while powerless to prevent it.
- A2 Helping to bring misfortune upon one's people through professional secrecy.
- B Divining the death of a loved one.
- C Learning of the death of a kinsman or ally.
- D Relapse in primitive baseness, through despair on learning of the death of a loved one.
37. Mistaken Identity.
- A Thinking someone is rich when he's poor.
- B The wrong man caught in the web of fear.
- C Schizophrenia.