//**The Thirty-Six Dramatic Situations**// is a descriptive list which was created by Georges Polti to categorize every dramatic situation that might occur in a story or performance. To do this Polti analyzed classical Greek texts, plus classical and contemporaneous French works. He also analyzed a handful of non-French authors. In his introduction, Polti claims to be continuing the work of Carlo Gozzi, who also identified 36 situations.

source:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Thirty-Six_Dramatic_Situations