/plot/, n., v., plotted, plotting.n.1. a secret plan or scheme to accomplish some purpose, esp. a hostile, unlawful, or evil purpose: a plot to overthrow the government.2. Also called storyline. the plan, scheme, or main story of a literary or dramatic work, as a play, novel, or short story.3. a small piece or area of ground: a garden plot; burial plot.4. a measured piece or parcel of land: a house on a two-acre plot.5. a plan, map, diagram, or other graphic representation, as of land, a building, etc.6. a list, timetable, or scheme dealing with any of the various arrangements for the production of a play, motion picture, etc.: According to the property plot, there should be a lamp stage left.7. a chart showing the course of a craft, as a ship or airplane.8. Artillery. a point or points located on a map or chart: target plot.v.t.9. to plan secretly, esp. something hostile or evil: to plot mutiny.10. to mark on a plan, map, or chart, as the course of a ship or aircraft.11. to draw a plan or map of, as a tract of land or a building.12. to divide (land) into plots.13. to determine and mark (points), as on plotting paper, by means of measurements or coordinates.14. to draw (a curve) by means of points so marked.15. to represent by means of such a curve.16. to devise or construct the plot of (a play, novel, etc.).17. to prepare a list, timetable, or scheme of (production arrangements), as for a play or motion picture: The stage manager hadn't plotted the set changes until one day before the dress rehearsal.18. to make (a calculation) by graph.v.i.19. to plan or scheme secretly; form a plot; conspire.20. to devise or develop a literary or dramatic plot.21. to be marked or located by means of measurements or coordinates, as on plotting paper.[bef. 1100; (n.) of multiple orig.: in sense "piece of ground," ME: small area, patch, stain, piece of ground, OE: piece of ground (orig. obscure); in senses "ground plan, outline, map, scheme," var. (since the 16th century) of PLAT1, itself partly a var. of ME, OE plot; sense "secret plan" (from 16th century) by assoc. with COMPLOT, in pejorative sense; (v.) deriv. of the n.]Syn. 1. intrigue, cabal. See conspiracy. 9. brew, hatch, frame. 19. PLOT, CONSPIRE, SCHEME imply secret, cunning, and often unscrupulous planning to gain one's own ends. To PLOT is to contrive a secret plan of a selfish and often treasonable kind: to plot against someone's life. To CONSPIRE is to unite with others in an illicit or illegal machination: to conspire to seize a government. To SCHEME is to plan ingeniously, subtly, and often craftily for one's own advantage: to scheme how to gain power.
* * *(as used in expressions)Doctors' PlotRastenburg Assassination Plot
* * *in fiction, the structure of interrelated actions, consciously selected and arranged by the author. Plot involves a considerably higher level of narrative organization than normally occurs in a story or fable. According to E.M. Forster (Forster, E M) in Aspects of the Novel (1927), a story is a “narrative of events arranged in their time-sequence,” whereas a plot organizes the events according to a “sense of causality.”In the history of literary criticism, plot has undergone a variety of interpretations. In the Poetics, Aristotle assigned primary importance to plot (mythos) and considered it the very “soul” of a tragedy. Later critics tended to reduce plot to a more mechanical function, until, in the Romantic era, the term was theoretically degraded to an outline on which the content of fiction was hung. Such outlines were popularly thought to exist apart from any particular work and to be reusable and interchangeable. They might be endowed with life by a particular author through his development of character, dialogue, or some other element. The publication of books of “basic plots” brought plot to its lowest esteem.In the 20th century there have been many attempts to redefine plot as movement, and some critics have even reverted to the position of Aristotle in giving it primary importance in fiction. These neo-Aristotelians (or Chicago school (Chicago critics) of critics), following the leadership of the critic Ronald S. Crane (Crane, R.S.), have described plot as the author's control of the reader's emotional responses—his arousal of the reader's interest and anxiety and the careful control of that anxiety over a duration of time. This approach is only one of many attempts to restore plot to its former place of priority in fiction.
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