the term suspension of disbelief or

willing suspension of disbelief has been

defined as a willingness to suspend

one's critical faculties and believe the

unbelievable sacrifice of realism and

logic for the sake of enjoyment the term

was coined in 1817 by the poet an

aesthetic philosopher Samuel Taylor

Coleridge who suggested that if a writer

could infuse a human interest and

assemblance of truth into a fantastic

tale the reader would suspend judgment

concerning the impossibility of the

narrative suspension of disbelief often

applies to fictional works of the action

comedy fantasy and horror genres

cognitive estrangement in fiction

involves using a person's ignorance to

promote suspension of disbelief the

phrase suspension of disbelief came to

be used more loosely in the later 20th

century often used to imply that the

burden was on the reader rather than the

writer to achieve it this might be used

to refer to the willingness of the

audience to overlook the limitations of

a medium so that these do not interfere

with the acceptance of those premises

these fictional premises may also lend

to the engagement of the mind and

perhaps proposition of thoughts ideas

art and theories suspension of disbelief

is often an essential element for a

magic act or a circus sideshow act for

example an audience is not expected to

actually believe that a woman is cut in

half or transforms into a gorilla in

order to enjoy the performance according

to the theory suspension of disbelief is

an essential ingredient for any kind of

storytelling with any film the viewer

has to ignore the reality that they are

viewing a two-dimensional moving image

on a screen and temporarily accepted as

reality in order to be entertained black

and white films provide an obvious early

example than

audiences are willing to suspend

disbelief no matter how unreal the

images appear for the sake of

entertainment with the exception of

totally colorblind people see a chroma

top CEO no person viewing these films

sees the real world without color but

they are still willing to suspend

disbelief and accept the images in order

to be entertained suspension of

disbelief is also supposed to be

essential for the enjoyment of many

movies and TV shows involving complex

stunts special effects and seemingly

unrealistic plots characterizations etc

Coleridge coined the phrase in his

biography oliver area

published in 1817 in the context of the

creation and reading of poetry chapter

14 describes the preparations with

Wordsworth for their revolutionary

collaboration lyrical ballads first

edition 1798 for which Coleridge had

contributed the more romantic gothic

pieces including the rhythm of the

Ancient Mariner poetry and fiction

involving the supernatural had gone out

of fashion to a large extent in the 18th

century in part due to the declining

belief in witches and other supernatural

agents among the educated classes who

embraced the rational approach to the

world offered by the new science

Alexander Pope notably felt the need to

explain and justify his use of elemental

spirits in the rape of the lock one of

the few English poems of the century

that invokes a supernatural Coleridge

wish to revive the use of fantastic

elements in poetry the concept of

willing suspension of disbelief

explained how a modern enlightened

audience might continue to enjoy such

types of story

Coleridge recalled

it was agreed that my endeavor should be

directed to persons and characters

supernatural or at least romantic yet so

as to transfer from our inward nature a

human interest and a semblance of truth

sufficient to procure for these shadows

of imagination that willing suspension

of disbelief for the moment which

constitutes poetic faith mr. Wordsworth

on the other hand was too proposed to

himself as his object to give the charm

of novelty to things of everyday and to

excite a feeling analogous to the

supernatural by awakening the mind for

tension from the lethargy of custom and

directing it to the loveliness and the

wonders of the world before us the

notion of such an action by an audience

was however recognized in antiquity as

seen particularly in the Roman

theoretical concerns of Horace who also

lived in an age of increasing skepticism

about the supernatural in his ARS

Poetica aesthetic philosophers generally

reject claims that suspension of

disbelief accurately characterizes the

relationship between people and fictions

kendall Walton notes that if viewers

were to truly suspend disbelief at a

horror movie and accept its images as

true they would have a true-to-life set

of reactions for instance audience

members would cry out look behind you

- an endangered on-screen character or

call the police when they witnessed an

on-screen murder however many of these

criticisms simply fail to notice that

Cole reaches the original statement came

in a restrictive Clause the formulation

that willing suspension of disbelief for

the moment which constitutes poetic

faith of necessity implies that there

are different sorts of suspension of

disbelief and specifies that poetic

faith is one instance of a larger class

one need not choose to believe that a

character in a horror film is a real

person in order for example to choose to

believe that the character is looking at

the building scene in the following

reverse shot more often than not both

beliefs would be equally false not all

authors believe the suspension of the

disbelief adequately characterizes the

audience's relationship

to imaginative works of art junior art

Okun challenges his concept in his essay

on fairy stories choosing instead the

paradigm of secondary belief based on

inner consistency of reality token says

that in order for the narrative to work

the reader must believe that what he

reads is true within the secondary

reality of the fictional world by

focusing on creating an internally

consistent fictional world the author

makes secondary belief possible token

argues that suspension of disbelief is

only necessary when the work has failed

to create secondary belief from that

point the spell is broken and the reader

ceases to be immersed in the story and

must make a conscious effort to suspend

disbelief or else give up on it entirely