A Conversation for Deus Ex Machina
Knowthing Useful Started conversation Mar 15, 2005
There is a slight error in your statement that "As befitted his godly status, the deity usually made his appearance floating onto the stage. The actor was hoisted up using a special crane, giving rise to the phrase 'god from the machine'" - while it is indeed true that the god was often hoisted up using the stage machinery, the god was not generally represented by an actor, but rather by a statue of the god, and any speaking on his behalf was done by a 'hidden' actor (unfortunately I have no access to the relevant text books at the moment, and cannot recall the exact mechanics of this situation, if you wish I can try and look up the precise details at a later time)
Gnomon - time to move on Posted Mar 15, 2005
Thanks, yprbest. I'll get the Eds to change the entry to reflect that.
AgProv2 Posted Apr 1, 2007
Donning my LOTR anorak...
Surely Gandalf does use his magical abilities, at critical points in the book, for more than just fire-raising?
In the final confrontation with Saruman, for instance, Gandalf must call upon something greater than himself to break Saruman's power as a wizard: otherwise there would be no clear correlation between Gandalf intoning the words "Saruman, your staff is broken!" and the cataclysmic (and symbolic) shattering of Saruman's staff, several hundred feet above him in the tower (to the accompaniment of son et lumiere effects and Saruman screaming in pain and rage)
Later, in the negociation with the Mouth of Sauron, I seem to remember Gandalf's grabbing of Frodo's effects from the Mouth is accompanied by a diversionary flash of blinding white light (which the servants of the Enemy cannot withstand)
And in the fight with the Balrog, isn't it Gandalf shattering the bridge by use of his staff (and magic) that permits the fellowship to get away?
I agree, though, Tolkein wisely uses this sparingly and ambiguously.
(Now why couldn't the Eagles have flown Sam and Frodo INTO Mordor, in a sort of airborne covert operation... after all, they got them out...)
Key: Complain about this post