The working of all great organisation there is underground - it is easy enough to meet plot by counterplot
, to suborn, to deceive, to undermine.
It was warfare dark and devious, replete with intrigue and conspiracy, plot and counterplot
. And behind all, ever menacing, was death, violent and terrible.
OEDIPUS When with swift strides the stealthy plotter stalks I must be quick too with my counterplot
. To wait his onset passively, for him Is sure success, for me assured defeat.
On the strength of these profound views, he in the most ingenious manner takes infinite pains to counterplot
when there is no plot, and plays the deepest games of chess without any adversary.
None of your plots against me; I'll counterplot
Behn's focus is on women from the moment this plot line is introduced in act 1, scene 4: before we actually meet the male characters, she lets us know about Antonio's jealousy and his plan to use his friend Alberto to court his wife through a conversation between Clarina, Ismena and Clarina's servant Isabella, at the same time as we learn about their counterplot
. Ismena's impersonation of Clarina can work because, although Alberto is Antonio's best friend, he has never seen her because "'Tis not the custom here for Men to expose their Wives to the view of any" (Behn  1996, 98).
This attention to privation highlights theater's tendency to adumbrate moments that have no obligations to a master plot, suggesting that what we consider a counterplot
or a subplot--the ubiquitous theatrical elements that by definition depend on a main plot--might exist not to support a narrative, but instead to interrupt, halt, or erase it.
(3.) "In Edward II," she argues, "a letter serves as the material embodiment of the concept of countertext as counterplot
." See Marjorie Garber, '"Here's Nothing Writ': Scribe, Script, and Circumscription in Marlowe's Plays," Theatre Journal 36.3 (1984): 301-20, 301.
"Valerie Martin's Property and the Failure of the Lesbian Counterplot
." Mississippi Quarterly 63:1-2 (2010): 211-31.
"Camera, Character, Counterplot
: On Watching Hitchcock Wrong." FQ 66.3 (2013): 28-43.
What this new kind of crime requires is "counterplot
work," for "a mine can be reached only by a counter-mine" (Sidelights 127, 128).
I had learned so much from The Unmediated Vision (including its chapter on Valery, which inspired my own pages on Valery when Inescapable Romance became a book in 1979) and from Beyond Formalism, whose extraordinary essay on "Milton's Counterplot
" became the inspiration for my chapter on Milton in that book.