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The concept of prequel it is used in the art industry to name a work that appears after a previous delivery, but that in the chronology of the saga is developed in the past .

The term prequel is a neologism (a word that has appeared in our language recently) from English. Its use in that language dates from 1958, when Anthony Boucher coined it to refer to the novel "They Shall Have Stars"by James Blish, the first of a tetralogy. Interestingly, although previously there was no word to describe this type of work, the origin of the prequel is very remote ; for example, the poem "Cipria"It can be considered a prequel to the"Iliad"and it is believed that it was composed between the sixth and seventh centuries.

What the prequel does is retake the first history , although narrating events that happen before. In this way, the prequel deals with the origins of what was seen in the original work.

Suppose, in 2010 , a movie About two young people who fall in love. In 2011 , said film had a sequel: that is, a film that continues with the action of the story. In the second film, for example, the already married couple has two children. In 2012 , appears the third film in the saga, but focused on the years before the couple's formation. It is, therefore, a prequel . What this work will do is tell how the young people met in the film 2010 they fell in love and in the proposal of 2011 the had children.

Prequels do not always focus on it plot that the work on which they are based, in the same way that the sequels can move away to narrate unexpected or not so predictable facts. While they usually provide more information about the background of the "current" story, it does not always happen very explicitly. One of the concepts related to the prequel is the dramatic irony , which is defined below.

The irony dramatic is the use of irony within an artistic work based on events that take place outside its limits , either in others that have been published previously or in reality. For example, if a story is published today on board the Titanic and one of the characters constantly ensures that the ship will not sink, it will be clear that the author does not expect his readers to create such a statement, given that the sinking Titanic is a fact known worldwide.

How is dramatic irony applied in the context of a prequel? Since the authors of prequels usually assume, although sometimes erroneously, that their audience knows perfectly the story on which they base their works, they take advantage of that supposed knowledge so that the characters make allusion to events that will take place in the future , within fiction. This resource, when used with cunning, usually pleases fans a lot and makes them feel a very strong bond with the universe of the work, since the newcomers they have no way of understanding those reference .

The prequels allow to extend a franchise successful whose story, for various reasons, can no longer develop forward chronologically (due to the death of the characters, creative difficulties, etc.). At movie theater , the prequels are increasingly frequent, while they can also be found in the TV , the literature and the video game .

An example of the operation of the prequels meets the character of Superman . While the superhero came to die in the comics, in the TV a series was developed ("Smallville" ) and a movie ("Iron Man" ) about his youth, before Clark Kent become Superman .

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