Bellerophontes ta grammata (Bellerophontic letter)
This was said by King Proetus who wanted to kill Bellerophon when he visited his home because Bellerophon had tried to violate his wife. But it would have been bad manners to kill a guest. So Proetus sends Bellerophon to his father in-law, King Lobates, as a messenger with a sealed letter to deliver. The letter in a folded tablet says, “Pray remove the bearer from this world: he attempted to violate my wife, your daughter.”
So that’s how you do it.
Isn’t that a great idea for a plot? Much harder to do than defriending someone on Facebook but easily more satisfying.
Just how many plots are there to choose from? This is a question that’s been floating around the writing universe for a long long time.
So I looked it up. The oldest source I could find said that there was either 36 or 37 plots, and the book it comes from is a “French book published in 1916 as “The Thirty-Six Dramatic Situations” by Georges Polti”.
Maybe we better all take a look. And while you’re at it beware of people asking you to deliver sealed letters in folded tablet form, in case you’ve got a history and it bellerophontic.
That was awkward but I think it worked.
You give it a try. Write a sentence with bellerophontic in it. See how it sounds.