- This article is about the literary epilogue. See Epilogue (disambiguation) for other uses of "Epilogue" or "Epilog".
An epilogue, or epilog, is a piece of writing at the end of a work of literature or drama, usually used to bring closure to the work. The writer or the person may deliver a speech, speaking directly to the reader, when bringing the piece to a close, or the narration may continue normally to a closing scene.
An epilogue is a final chapter at the end of a story that reveals 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 has been used to allow the main character a chance to 'speak freely'.
In general, an epilogue continues in the same narrative style and perspective as the preceding story.
When the author steps in and speaks directly to the reader, that is more properly considered an afterword.
In the 1960s and 1970s, one-hour American television dramas produced by Quinn Martin
(QM Productions) gererally were in four acts with epilogues, complete with narration. "The Fugitive
" and "The FBI
" were among these QM programs. These epilogues have been the subjects of infamous parodies.
In films, the final scenes may feature a montage of images or clips with a short explanation of what happens to the characters. Four Weddings and a Funeral
is an example of such a film.