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It came from the French word denouer, which means to untie. Note that the denouement is different from the climax because It happens right after the climax. It is a short scene where the mystery is unraveled and provides any necessary pieces of missing information.
Throughout the story, the reader is riding a wave of tension because of the mystery, suspense, and an epic conflict between heroes and villains. At the climax, this tension reaches its highest point. After that, readers need a denouement to relax a little.
The denouement determines how the reader will feel when they close the book or walk out of the theater. It has to be well-written or the story will seem unsatisfying.
To identify denouement, Sitcoms, which follow a classic storyline, contain a denouement in the final scene after the commercial break. Usually this segment shows a minor plot complication getting easily resolved, and the characters return to their usual status quo.
In literature, there is no ready format. Tolstoy’s novel Anna Karenina contains a lengthy denouement following Anna’s suicide, the climactic event. Tolstoy briefly shows the fate of Anna’s lover, Vronsky, before moving on to reveal how his other main character, Levin, learns tha marriage is problematic but also contains joy. This denouement not only wraps up plot details but also allows Tolstoy to resolves his central theme, which is that “all unhappy marriages are different.”
Some plays and films have brief denouements or simply end as soon the climax unfolds. This sudden ending is a common staple of films. It gives the impression that life never really “wraps up”; it is always moving from one complication to the next, and the film has simply focused on a single epoch in these characters’ lives.
…and they lived happily ever after.
Then all collapsed, and the great shroud of the sea rolled on as it rolled five thousand years ago. (Moby-Dick)
Montagues and the Capulets are all at the tomb to see Romeo and Juliet have both committed suicide. The heads of the family know that their bitter feud must end and agree to stop their rivalry to avoid further tragedy. (Romeo and Juliet)
In some movies, the narrator takes an entire chapter to wrap up loose ends to detail what has happened to every character, both major and minor.
This bundle contains 10 ready-to-use Denouement worksheets that are perfect to test student knowledge and understanding of Denouement which is the very end of the story. It is the final resolution of the main complication of a literary or dramatic work.
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Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.