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Ambition

 

Disciplines > Storytelling > Plots > Polti's Situations > Ambition

Description | Discussion | See also

 

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Description

Elements

  • An Ambitious Person
  • A Thing Coveted
  • An Adversary

Summary

The Ambitious person Covets a Thing, however that ambition is guarded against by an Adversary.

Variants

A

  1. Ambition watched and guarded against by a kinsman or patriot friend
  2. Ambition watched and guarded against by a brother
  3. Ambition watched and guarded against by a relative or person under no obligation
  4. Ambition watched and guarded against by partisans

B

  1. Rebellious ambition

C

  1. Ambition and covetousness heaping crime upon crime
  2. Parricidal ambition

Discussion

Ambition can be a force for good, helping a person succeed in life. It can also be a blind tunnel through which the ambitious person sees only that which they covet. When ambition is unhealthy, others may stand in the way, guarding the ambitious person from harm as much as guarding the coveted thing from the ambitious person.

Thus in a story, the hero may be the ambitious person or perhaps the guard.

By definition, if the thing coveted was easy to get, then ambition would have no point. Ambition thus contains the tension of wanting but not getting. It provides a motivator for action.

Wanting something that you cannot get harks to early desire, thereby triggering deep and inexplicable feelings in the reader. The source of that desire may be variable. Simply the fact of not being able to achieve something can stimulate desire for it as our sense of control is threatened.

'Ambition' is the 30th of Georges Polti's 36 Dramatic Situations.

See also

 

Desire

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