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Tell me the meaning of this sentence. I'm not able to understand it please explain

A moment of dramatic revelation when suddenly the hero works out their life is a catastrophe.

Link to the video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=csIW4W_DYX4&t=182s

watch at 3:41.

I think "dramatic revelation" means truth or any unknown fact revealed in a dramatic manner (correct me if I'm wrong). I don't understand what “the hero works out their life” means (I don't know but maybe any idiom is used) tell me another way to say this exact same thing in a simpler way.

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  • In order to answer this question well I need more details. What is the source of this quote Please provide a link to the website if possible. If not, please cite the source and provide context.
    – James K
    Aug 8 at 9:13
  • How much do you understand. Do you know what "dramatic" means? What about the phrase "A moment of dramatic revelation" As written, this is not a full sentence, and the use of a capital on "When" is incorrect. So please check that the quote is exact.
    – James K
    Aug 8 at 9:13
  • I think you've found this quote in a definition of "Anagnorisis", but I'd like to know for sure.
    – James K
    Aug 8 at 9:16
  • Yes, you are right. I know what "dramatic" means but I think I'm mostly confused with the way it is said.
    – Sameer
    Aug 8 at 9:29
  • Okay, so please edit to include all that context: source, context, what you already know, what you don't get. There should be two or three paragraphs.
    – James K
    Aug 8 at 9:33
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The context: In the video the narrator is telling us about Aristotle's Poetics and the advice it contains for authors of tragedies:

make sure to use: peripeteia - a change in fortune, when for the hero things go from great to awful [in Titanic, Leonardo de Caprio gets Kate Winslow (great) then they hit the iceberg (awful)] and anagnorisis - a moment of dramatic revelation when suddenly the hero works out their life is a catastrophe.

A revelation is when a character discovers or reveals something, and a dramatic revelation is when this is surprising to the character or to the audience.

The speaker tells you that anagnorisis is a particular type of dramatic revelation that is used in Greek Tragedy.

In particular, it is when a character discovers the truth about how terrible everything is.

If you know Greek plays, you will know Oedipus Rex. In this play, Oedipus kills a man and has sex with a woman. Then he discovers (or "works out"):

The man is his own father and the woman is his own mother!

That is a dramatic revelation when suddenly the hero discovers that their life is a catastrophe.

There is another example in the pictures you see in the video.

Your quote is a fragment. The full sentence would be:

Make sure to use anagnorisis — a moment of dramatic revelation when suddenly the hero works out their life is a catastrophe.

This is imperative "Make sure to use..." and the part after the dash is the definition of anagnorisis. The definition is a structured as a noun phrase "A moment of dramatic revelation" which is modified by the "when" clause "when suddenly the hero works out ...". And "To work out something" means to finally understand something.

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  • "To work out something" means to finally understand something.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Aug 8 at 10:27
  • thanks, incorporated.
    – James K
    Aug 8 at 10:32
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It seems to me that you have simply mis-parsed the sentence. It means the same as:

A moment of dramatic revelation when suddenly the hero works out that their life is a catastrophe.

The hero is not working out their life -- they are working out (i.e. figuring out) the fact that their life is a catastrophe.

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