天外救星

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古希腊戏剧美狄亚》里的天外救星

天外救星拉丁语:Deus ex machina,/ˌdəs ɛks ˈmækɪnə, - ˈmɑːk-/ DAY-əs ex-MA(H)K-in-ə,[1] 拉丁语:[ˈdɛ.ʊs ɛks ˈmaːkʰɪnaː]; plural: dei ex machina; English ‘god from the machine’),亦译作“舞台机关送神”、“机械降神”、“机器神”、“解围之神”等,是意料外的、突然的、牵强的解围角色、手段或事件,在虚构作品内,突然引入来为紧张情节或场面解围。近似词有天降神兵、有如神助等。

词源

拉丁语词组Deus ex machina(英译:God from the machine)翻译自希腊语ἀπό μηχανῆς θεός(apò mēkhans theós),意思是机关跑出的神。

古希腊戏剧,当剧情陷入胶着,困境难以解决时,突然出现拥有强大力量的将难题解决,令故事得以收拾、有个好结局。扮演神的演员会利用起重机从舞台上方降下,或是起升机从舞台地板的活门抬上。这种表演手法是人为的,制造出意料之外的剧情大逆转[2]

现代批评

这种手法通常被评论家认为是不高明的说书技巧,因为它破坏了故事的内在逻辑,纵使有时候会为了这个理由而故意采用。继亚里士多德之后,文艺复兴时期评论家将其视为一种迂拙的情节计策,虽然其仍然受用于文艺复兴时期的剧作家;莎士比亚将此计策用在《一报还一报英语Measure for Measure》《仲夏夜之梦》《皆大欢喜》《泰尔亲王佩力克尔斯》和《冬天的故事[3]。19世纪末,尼采批评欧里庇得斯透过这种计策将悲剧因素制造成乐观的类型,并促使他高度怀疑戏剧《blissful delight in life》是“希腊快乐”(Greek cheerfulness)[4]

尼采认为机械降神是苏格拉底文化的症状,重视文化知识过于酒神节的音乐并最终导致死亡的悲剧:[5]

But the new non-Dionysiac spirit is most clearly apparent in the endings of the new dramas. At the end of the old tragedies there was a sense of metaphysical conciliation without which it is impossible to imagine our taking delight in tragedy; perhaps the conciliatory tones from another world echo most purely in Oedipus at Colonus. Now, once tragedy had lost the genius of music, tragedy in the strictest sense was dead: for where was that metaphysical consolation now to be found? Hence an earthly resolution for tragic dissonance was sought; the hero, having been adequately tormented by fate, won his well-earned reward in a stately marriage and tokens of divine honour. The hero had become a gladiator, granted freedom once he had been satisfactorily flayed and scarred. Metaphysical consolation had been ousted by the deus ex machina.[6]

尼采认为,机械降神制造出虚假的慰藉感觉,这是不应该寻求的现象,这种情节计策的诋毁普遍出现在评论意见中[7]。一些20世纪的修正主义者的评论,建议deus ex machina不能在简化的用语中被查看,并主张此种计策是凡人“刺探”与神的关系[8]。拉什瑞姆(Rush Rehm)特别引用希腊悲剧的例子,其中deus ex machina提供复杂化角色的生活和态度,当面临神的同时为观众带来戏剧的尾声[8]

参见

参考资料

  • Bushnell, Rebecca ed. 2005. A Companion to Tragedy. Malden, MA and Oxford: Blackwell Publishing. ISBN 1-4051-0735-9.
  • Heath, Malcolm, trans. 1996. Poetics. By Aristotle. Penguin: London. ISBN 978-0-14-044636-4.
  • Janko, Richard, trans. 1987. Poetics with Tractatus Coislinianus, Reconstruction of Poetics II and the Fragments of the On Poets. By Aristotle. Cambridge: Hackett. ISBN 0-87220-033-7.
  • Mastronarde, Donald, 1990. Actors on High: The Skene roof, the Crane and the Gods in Attic Drama. Classical Antiquity, Vol 9, October 1990, pp 247–294. University of California.
  • Rehm, Rush, 1992. Greek Tragic Theatre. Routledge, London. ISBN 0-415-04831-1.
  • Tanner, Michael ed. 2003. The Birth of Tragedy. By Nietzsche, Friedrich. Penguin: London. ISBN 978-0-14-043339-5.
  • Taplin, Oliver, 1978. Greek Tragedy in Action. Methuen, London. ISBN 0-416-71700-4.
  • Walton, J Michael, trans. 2000. Euripides: Medea. Methuen, London. ISBN 0-413-75280-1.