Latin expression explained (22): Deus ex machina.

Latin expression explained (22): Deus ex machina.

This Latin expression belongs to the domain of theatre. It means « God from the machine ». This corresponds to the appearance of a god or goddess using a machine to effect the denouement of the play. These « machine plays » were common in ancient Greek times. Using a crane, a pulley mechanism, a platform would descend onto the stage with an actor playing the God or goddess in question.

One can find many denouements of this type in the plays of Euripides (-480; -406), for example in Iphigenia at Aulis, the goddess Artemis intervenes at the end to save Iphigenia from sacrifice just in time. Today, Deus ex machina characterizes an unexpected denouement that comes out of nowhere. This type of ending allows for surprising the audience, taking the characters out of impossible situations through an unexpected external intervention. Outside of the world of the arts and entertainment, a Deus ex machina is an unexpected, external, and surprising intervention.

I avoided catastrophe through some kind of Deus ex machina.

Links to Another Latin expressions explained: Latin expressions explained (21): INRI.Latin expressions explained (20): Si vis pacem, para bellum.Latin expressions explained (19): Dies Irae. Latin expressions explained (18): sine qua non.Latin expressions explained (17): urbi et orbi.Latin expressions explained (16): Ad astra. Latin expressions explained (15): Fiat Lux.Latin expressions explained (14):Gloria Patri et Filio et Spiritui Sancto.Latin expressions explained (13): Mare Nostrum. Latin expression explained (12): Consummatum est! Latin expressions explained (11): O tempora o mores.  Latin expressions explained (10): « Asinus asinum fricat. » Latin expressions explained (9): Delenda carthago. Latin expressions explained (8): De profundis clamavi. Latin expressions explained (7): acta fabula est. Latin expressions explained (6): ultima ratio regum. Latin expression explained (5): vis comica. Latin expressions explained: Per fas et nefas. Latin expressions explained (3): Fluctuat nec mergitur. Latin expressions explained: « Cujus regio, ejus religio ». Latin expressions explained: summun jus, summa injuria.

Page Facebook: CoursJulien



2 commentaires sur “Latin expression explained (22): Deus ex machina.”

  1. Ping : Latin expressions explained (23): Ecce homo. - Les Cours Julien

  2. Ping : Latin expressions explained (28): Cogito ergo sum. - Les Cours Julien

Laisser un commentaire

I accept that my given data and my IP address is sent to a server in the USA only for the purpose of spam prevention through the Akismet program.More information on Akismet and GDPR.