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Classical epics typically rely on the use of Divine Intervention, or the
supernatural, in order to shape the outcome of events. Does Tom Jones
follow or deviate from this aspect of classical epics in its plot?
Although Fielding's comic plot demands a certain degree of serendipity,
Fielding's narrator strongly distinguishes his genre—the
"Marvellous"—from the "Incredible." in Chapter I of Book VIII, he commits
himself to the "probable" over even just the "possible." Yet the narrator's
strenuous insistence seems to mask some disingenuousness. The plot events are so
highly contrived that they indeed seem to fall in the "possible" rather than the
To a certain extent, however, Fielding keeps from using Divine Intervention and
turns the outcome of events through his own inventiveness. Fielding's rejection
of even a crutch is evident through his conception of a hero whose virtue stems
from acts of goodness, rather than from religion and prudence. But if the Gods
never come to Tom's and Sophia's rescue, these two characters achieve their own
kind of divinity by the end of the novel through other characters' perceptions
Ace your assignments with our guide to Tom Jones!