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"What color is the boathouse at Hereford?"
A character poses rhetorical questions as if they wanted to know the answers, but don't, and are manipulating their audience instead.
Or a character may be an attempting to stall for time, so that they can escape while their audience is lost in thought
. Bonus points
if the questions cause the audience to debate amongst themselves
causing greater distraction.
Similar to personality or aptitude tests, which have no wrong answers
, but these don't have any
. Can overlap with Motive Rant
, depending on how much is given away by the questions. If the character answers their own questions, it's a Circling Monologue
. A part of some interrogation techniques
and Character Filibusters
. Rarely part of a Cold Reading
to make a generic answer seem based on facts.
Compare with Distracting Disambiguation
, Morton's Fork
, and Pop Quiz
Anime and Manga
- Batman: [I remember the Joker doing this at least once, but I can't remember when/where. But not the Riddler, who cares a lot about answers.]
- Koans: they're supposed to inspire a logic bomb, not to have one hand clap with fingers impacting the palm.
- Students may be familiar with a test that starts with "read the entire thing before writing anything down", followed by a lot of tough questions, with the last line being "ignore all of the above, sign & hand in".