Show Summary Details

Quick Reference

The collective term applied since the 18th century to the supernatural beings—gods, angels, devils, nymphs, etc.—who take part in the action of an epic or mock‐epic poem or in a dramatic work. The term is taken from the Greek dramatic convention of the deus ex machina, and is also applied in a more familiar sense to the cranes, moving sets, and other contraptions used in the theatre.

Subjects: Literature.

Reference entries

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.