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An epilogue or epilog (from Greek ἐπίλογος epílogos, "conclusion" from ἐπί- "in addition" and λέγειν légein, "to say") is a piece of writing at the end of a work of literature, usually used to bring closure to the work.[1] It is presented from the perspective of within the story. When the author steps in and speaks indirectly to the reader, that is more properly considered an afterword. The opposite is a prologue—a piece of writing at the beginning of a work of literature or drama, usually used to open the story and capture interest.[2]

In literature

Illustration from Un Autre Monde epilogue, by Grandville.

An epilogue is the final chapter at the end of a story that often serves to reveal the fates of the characters. Some epilogues may feature scenes only tangentially related to the subject of the story. They can be used to hint at a sequel or wrap up all the loose ends. They can occur at a significant period of time after the main plot has ended. In some cases, the epilogue is used to allow the main character a chance to "speak freely".

An epilogue can continue in the same narrative style and perspective as the preceding story, although the form of an epilogue can occasionally be drastically different from the overall story. It can also be used as a sequel.

In film

In films, the final scenes may feature a montage of images or clips with a short explanation of what happens to the characters. A few examples of such films are 9 to 5, American Graffiti, National Lampoon's Animal House, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Remember the Titans, and Changeling.

The whole of the film The Godfather Part III is an epilogue.

There are many films which do not only include a few glimpses of the character's future, but also are based on an epilogue. Most epilogues in films are shown in a dramatic fashion, usually in silence, to commemorate an important happening, for example, the fate of a character in the film.

In many documentaries and biopics, the epilogue is text-based, explaining what happened to the subjects after the events covered in the film.

See also


  1. "Literary Devices: Definition and Examples of Literary Terms: Epilogue". Literary Devices Website. Literary Devices. 2014. Retrieved 19 July 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Literary Devices: Definition and Examples of Literary Terms: Prologue". Literary Devices Website. Literary Devices. 2014. Retrieved 1901 18. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

  • The dictionary definition of epilogue at Wiktionary