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A multi-part is a literary , musical or cinematic work with related content that consists of at least two parts. The individual works of a multi-part can have a common framework, but at the same time be independent and self-contained, but they can also be highly dependent on one another.

Multipart in literature

In order to keep the audience interested and excited, a drama is limited in length. The audience's patience, ability to concentrate and sheer physical stamina do not allow a performance of more than three or a maximum of four hours. Compared to the novel or epic , the amount of plot is limited. Ambitious playwrights nevertheless tried to approach epic material or to present their thoughts on a topic in an epic breadth. The route chosen for this was the multi-part play. Aeschylus is considered the first playwright in the western world to write such a multi-part. For the Dionysia , playwrights had to submit three tragedies to win a prize. Aeschylus submitted three interrelated pieces, the Oresty .

Multi-part books are to be distinguished from bestseller sequels , which owe their creation primarily to a sales success of the original work, which was by no means intended to be multi-part.

Multi-part in film and television

Multi-part in the film

Films are seldom planned in advance as multi-parts. Usually only the economic success of a film leads to one or more sequels . Examples of this are the Alien films with the first film Alien - The uncanny creature from an alien world . In the meantime three sequels have been released. In the event that a chronological continuation is not possible or interesting, the history can be filmed as a so-called prequel . This can be shown using the example of the Alien film series: In 2012 the film Prometheus - Dark Characters , from which the Alien films are supposed to be derived, was released.

However, there are also films that z. B. appear as a multipart due to already successful literature. For example, at the beginning of the project , JRR Tolkien's novel The Lord of the Rings was divided into three films, analogous to the books, and shot at the same time.

The economic factor of film sequels is particularly evident when looking at the most successful feature films of all time: six of the ten financially most successful films are components of multi-part series (as of June 2015). Interestingly, all six films are sequels themselves.

Multi-part on TV

A distinction must be made between television films in several parts and half-hour or one-hour television series . A series series has between eight and 30 parts and is continued by another if successful. For television broadcasters, multi-parts offer numerous advantages. In contrast to films, the production costs are usually cheaper. At the same time, viewers are bound for the longer term.



A two- parter (also outdated dilogy , from ancient Greek dilogía - di- "two", "double", and lógos "word"; no longer listed in Duden ) is a series of two related artistic works ( dramas , compositions , volumes of books , films, etc.) . Ä.).

Significant examples exist in the field of novel literature, for example, from Goethe ( Wilhelm Meister's apprenticeship years , Wilhelm Meister's years of traveling ) and Anna Seghers ( The Decision , 1959; The Trust 1969). An example of a scale from the outset to two parts film Kill Bill by Quentin Tarantino .

Three-part (trilogy)

A trilogy is a literary , musical or cinematic work with related content , which consists of three parts. The individual works of a trilogy have a common framework, but are at the same time independent and self-contained.

The name comes from the Greek τριλογία ( trilogía, τρεῖς treis "three" and λόγος lógos "word") and denotes the three tragedies that were presented one after the other by a tragedy poet in dramatic competitions; with the following satyr play then a tetralogy resulted from a total of four (τέτταρες téttares "four") pieces.

Some well-known autobiographies were also created as a trilogy, e.g. B. that of Elias Canetti ( The saved tongue , The torch in the ear , The eye game ) and that of Maxim Gorki (My childhood, Among strangers, My universities).

Examples of works that count as a trilogy:

All works are set in the city ​​of Gdansk during, shortly before and shortly after the Second World War and deal with the National Socialist entanglements of the protagonists . Although various literary characters appear repeatedly in the books, they are not serialized novels.
In the three films, the three colors of the French national flag ( tricolor ) - blue, white, red - are used as the film title and the three components of the French motto Freedom, Equality, Fraternity as the leitmotif of the respective film.

Four-part (tetralogy)

A tetralogy (from the Greek tetralogía : tetra "four" and logos "word") is a sequence of four related artistic works (especially dramas , compositions and fiction prose).

In ancient Athens , three tragedies followed by an exhilarating satyr play formed a tetralogy. The works of the philosopher Plato have been divided into nine tetralogies, see Tetralogy (Plato) . In rhetoric , a tetralogy is a compilation of four speeches that deal with the same case from different perspectives.

Richard Wagner's music drama The Ring of the Nibelung (in three days and a prelude) is also referred to as a tetralogy, as is Thomas Mann's four Joseph novels or Yukio Mishima's novel cycle The Sea of ​​Fertility .

Five-part (pentalogy)

A pentalogy from the Greek pentalogía ( penta "five" and logos "word") is a series of five related artistic works.

  1. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy , 1979
  2. The restaurant at the end of the universe
  3. Life, the universe and everything else
  4. Take care and thank you for the fish
  5. Once to Rupert and back
  1. Hasenherz (English: Rabbit, Run ; 1960)
  2. Under the astronaut moon (English: Rabbit Redux ; 1971)
  3. Better conditions (English: Rabbit is Rich ; 1981)
  4. Rabbit at rest (ger .: Rabbit at Rest , 1990)
  5. Rabbit, a return (ger .: Rabbit Remembered , 2002)
  1. The settlers (English: The Pioneers - Or The Sources of the Susquehanna ; 1823)
  2. The Last of the Mohicans (Engl .: The Last of the Mohicans , 1826)
  3. The Prairie (Engl .: The Prairie , 1827)
  4. The Boy Scouts or the Inland Sea (Engl .: The Pathfinder - Or The Inland Sea , 1840)
  5. The Deerslayer (Engl .: The Deerslayer - Or The First War Path , 1841)

Six-part (hexalogy)

A hexalogy from the Greek hexalogía ( hexa "six" and logos "word") is a series of six related artistic works. The term is not widespread in film and literary criticism or in the humanities ; the American literary scholar John H. Timmerman even describes it as a “linguistic crime”.


Seven divider (heptalogy)

A heptalogy from the Greek heptalogía ( hepta "seven" and logos "word") is a series of seven related artistic works.

Known heptalogies:

  1. The Miracle of Narnia (Original title: The Magician's Nephew )
  2. The King of Narnia (Original title: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe )
  3. The ride to Narnia (Original title: The Horse and His Boy )
  4. Prince Caspian of Narnia (Original title: Prince Caspian )
  5. The Journey on the Dawn Treader (Original title: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader )
  6. The silver chair (Original title: The Silver Chair )
  7. The Last Battle (Original title: The Last Battle )
  1. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (Original title: Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone )
  2. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Original title: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets )
  3. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Original title: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban )
  4. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Original title: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire )
  5. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Original title: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix )
  6. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Original title: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince )
  7. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Original title: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows )
  1. Monday out of light
  2. Tuesday out of light
  3. Wednesday out of light
  4. Thursday out of light
  5. Friday out of light
  6. Saturday of light
  7. Sunday of light
  1. On the way to Swann (Original title: Du côté de chez Swann )
  2. In the shadow of a young girl's flower (Original title: A l'ombre des jeunes filles en fleurs )
  3. Guermantes (Original title: Le côté de Guermantes )
  4. Sodom and Gomorrah (Original title: Sodome et Gomorrah )
  5. The prisoner (Original title: La Prisonnière )
  6. The fugitive (Original title: La Fugitive )
  7. The found time (original title: Le temps retrouvé )
  1. The loss of appetite (Original title: La inapetencia )
  2. The exuberance (Original title: La extravagancia )
  3. The modesty (Original title: La modestia )
  4. The stupidity (Original title: La estupidez )
  5. The panic (Original title: El pánico )
  6. The paranoia (Original title: La paranoia )
  7. The stubbornness (Original title: La terquedad )

Eight parts (octology)

An octology , also called octalogy , from the Greek oktalogía ( okto "eight" and logos "word") is a series of eight artistic works that were either created as a cycle from the outset or subsequently put together to form a cycle. The word formation is analogous to the much more common terms trilogy and tetralogy .

As an octology ("octology"), among other things, Eugene O'Neill's eight-dramatic cycle on the history of America, which was to take the form of a family history. Prabodh Chandra Ghosh referred to a group of eight historical dramas by Shakespeare as his "great octology".

Nine parts (ennealogy)

An ennealogy from the Greek ennealogía ( ennea "nine" and logos "word") is a series of nine related artistic works.

Known ennealogies:

  • The Star Wars series since completion includes nine episodes, divided into three trilogies.

Decalogy (decalogy)

A decalogy from the Greek dekalogía ( deka "ten" and logos "word") is a series of ten related artistic works.

Well-known decalogies:

Twelve parts (dodecalogy)

Multi-parts in twelve parts are called dodecalogy (Greek dodeka for "twelve" and logos "word").


  • Dodecalogy of the 12 Sisters of Destiny in a fairy tale


  • Petra Anders, Michael Staiger (ed.): Seriality in literature and media. Volume 1: Theory and Didactics. Schneider Hohengehren, Baltmannsweiler 2016, ISBN 978-3-8340-1571-6 (with selected bibliography, pp. 20-27).
  • Günter Giesenfeld (ed.): Endless stories. Seriality in the media. Olms-Weidmann, Hildesheim 1994, ISBN 978-3487097992 .
  • Frank Kelleter (Ed.): Popular Seriality: Narration - Evolution - Distinction. For serial storytelling since the 19th century. transcript, Bielefeld 2012, ISBN 978-3-8376-2141-9 .
  • Olaf Knellessen, Giaco Schiesser, Daniel Strassberg (eds.): Seriality. Science, arts, media. Turia + Kant, Vienna 2015, ISBN 978-3851327663 .

Web links

Wiktionary: two-parter  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Evert Sprinchorn: Dramatic Cycles. In: Gabrielle H. Cody, Evert Sprinchorn (Ed.): The Columbia Encyclopedia of Modern Drama. Volume 1. Columbia University Press, New York 2007, ISBN 978-0-231-14422-3 , pp. 362-363.
  2. Prometheus: Ridley Scott reveals details . In: . December 20, 2011. Retrieved February 8, 2012.
  3. ^ Friedrich Albrecht : Janausch. Reflections on a character from the dilogy »The Decision« / »The Trust« by Anna Seghers. In: Argonaut ship. Yearbook of the Anna Seghers Society Berlin and Mainz e. V. 15 (2006), pp. 193-219.
  4. Uwe Lindemann, Michaela Schmidt: Some remarks on the film aesthetics of Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill. In: Achim Geisenhanslüke, Christian Steltz (Ed.): Unfinished Business. Quentin Tarantino's “Kill Bill” and the outstanding bills of cultural studies. transcript, Bielefeld 2006, p. 133.
  5. Gerd Sautermeister: Wallenstein, a dramatic poem . In: Kindlers Literaturlexikon , Kindler, Zurich 1972, vol. 12, p. 10129.
  6. Carl Kevin Ahrens: JRR Tolkien's trilogy "The Lord of the Rings" - a modern mythology of England? Hamburg 2002; Annette Simonis: Crossing boundaries in fantastic literature. Winter, 2005, p. 276; Encyclopedia of Fairy Tales. Concise dictionary for historical and comparative narrative research. Vol. 6, De Gruyter, Berlin / New York 1990, p. 122; Richard C. West: Tolkien Criticism. An Annotated Checklist. Kent University Press, 1981, p. 136; Richard Mathews: Lightning from a Clear Sky: Tolkien, the Trilogy, and the Silmarillion. Borgo Press, 1981; John H. Timmerman: Other Worlds. The Fantasy Genre. Bowling Green University Popular Press, 1983, p. 103.
  7. ^ Friedhelm Schneidewind: The great Tolkien Lexicon. Lexikon Imprint Verlag, Berlin 2001; Friedhelm Schneidewind: My Middle-earth. Articles and essays on Tolkien and his work. Oldib-Verlag, Essen 2011
  8. ^ John H. Timmerman: Other Worlds. The Fantasy Genre. Bowling Green University Popular Press, 1983, p. 103.
  9. ^ The Bookman. A review of books and life. 57 (1923), p. 209.
  10. Ronald Hayman (Ed.): The German theater. A symposium. Wolff, 1975, p. 113.
  11. Ijoma Mangold: The Decelerator Time, July 3, 2014.
  12. Vera Nünning, Caroline Lusin (ed.): The contemporary English novel. Genres - developments - model interpretations. WVT Wissenschaftlicher Verlag, Trier 2007, p. 214.
  13. ^ Corinna Cornelius: Introduction. In: Detlef Dormeyer, Friedhelm Munzel (ed.): Fascination Harry Potter. What's behind it? LIT Verlag, Münster 2005, p. 2.
  14. Jörn Florian Fuchs: Whom the hour strikes. Stockhausen's “Sound” cycle in Cologne. In: The world . May 14, 2010, ( online , accessed October 22, 2010)
  15. Walter Jens : German literature of the present. Topics, styles, tendencies. dtv, Munich 1964, p. 76.
  16. ^ For example, in the article The Theater: Prizeman. In: Time . November 23, 1938. In German, cf. Franz Lennartz : Foreign poets and writers of our time. Individual presentations on beautiful literature in foreign languages (= Kröner's pocket edition . Volume 217). 3rd, expanded edition. Kröner, Stuttgart 1960, DNB 452804736 , p. 503; there is spoken of O'Neill's "family octology".
  17. Prabodh Chandra Ghosh: Shakespeare's Mingled Drama. 1966, p. 45ff.
  18. ^ Wiktionary entry
  19. Online dictionary
  20. "Star Wars Episode IX is the planned ninth live-action theatrical installment in the Star Wars film franchise, and the final installment in the Star Wars Sequel Trilogy." Star Wars Wiki
  21. Handbook of German Mythology. P. 342.