Climax: (n) the most intense, exciting, or important point of something; a culmination or apex.
Having directed a play or two, I finally had to resort to using the word “denouement.”
When referring to the culmination of the final scene–when all the factors come to completion–I found that it was impossible to refer to this
as the “climax.” Every time I did, my actors smirked and their eyes glassed over in glee.
I probably was doing the same thing without knowing it.
There is only one climax. It has never, nor will it ever be exceeded.
It contains great pathos and comedy, all within the same twelve seconds. Its brevity taunts us with the fragility of life and its intensity encourages us to continue on even though we are fragile.
Perhaps it should make us giggle. Yes, the word “climax” might cause us to stare off in the distance, remembering a particularly favorable one.
It is no longer suitable to refer to the closing portion of a play. Get over it, grow up and start getting used to the word “denouemont.”
I know it’s pretentious. I know there will be those who are aware that it’s being used so that “climax” will not be uttered, which might make them grin even more.
But sexual pleasure is such an intricate part of our lives, I do not think we’re greedy by setting aside one word exclusively to define its glory.