What is Epilogue: Definition, Characteristics and Examples

An epilogue is a literary device often found at the conclusion of a story, play, or other narrative forms. It serves as a final section that follows the main narrative and provides additional information, reflection, or closure to the events and characters presented in the preceding work. The epilogue can offer insights into the aftermath of the story, provide resolution to unresolved plot points, or offer a glimpse into the future lives of the characters.


  • The epilogue is positioned at the end of a work, following the main narrative’s climax and resolution.
  • It is typically written in the third person and maintains a degree of narrative distance from the characters and events, allowing for reflection and commentary.
  • The epilogue may offer closure by tying up loose ends, resolving lingering questions, or presenting the long-term consequences of the story’s events.
  • It can provide an alternate perspective or voice that wasn’t present in the main narrative, offering a fresh interpretation of the story’s themes or events.
  • Epilogues often involve a temporal shift, jumping forward in time to show how the characters or the world have changed since the conclusion of the main story.


  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1600) by William Shakespeare: Shakespeare often used epilogues to address the audience directly, offering a playful or reflective commentary on the events of the play.
  • Animal Farm (1945) by George Orwell: In the epilogue, the pigs’ transformation into human-like oppressors becomes complete, highlighting the cyclical nature of power and corruption.
  • The Lord of the Rings (1954) by J.R.R. Tolkien: This epic fantasy trilogy concludes with an epilogue that reveals the eventual fates of the central characters and the changes that have occurred in the world.
  • The Great Gatsby (1925) by F. Scott Fitzgerald: The epilogue reflects on the tragic downfall of Jay Gatsby and provides commentary on the American Dream and the hollowness of materialism.
  • The Handmaid’s Tale (1985) by Margaret Atwood: The epilogue shifts perspective to a future academic conference, providing historical context and analysis of the events of the main narrative.

In essence, an epilogue enriches the reader’s understanding of the story’s conclusion, reinforces its themes, and allows for deeper reflection on the characters and events that unfolded throughout the narrative.

Also read; What is Ode: definition, Key aspects and Examples