Great Moments in Literature
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In Three Kingdoms, Xuande, the last Great Emperor of the Han, who has fighting to restore the dynasty, is on his death bed calling his closest advisors to his side. He instructs Zhuge Liang (Kongming) that if Xuande's son, Ah Dou, has merit, Zhuge should serve and support him, but if he does not, Zhuge should take the "crown" (the mandate of heaven) itself. Kongming is loyal, however, so the empire is doomed.
I'm not sure if this is exactly what you're going for, but in Spring Snow the point at which things go from kind of desultory, lazy dabbling and exquisite interest in one's own feelings on the part of aristocrats with an arrogant assurance of their own security to a deathfatespiral is when Satoko finds out she's pregnan. Up until then there's no real consequences. It's very after-school special.
Shakespeare is full of these. Drama is full of these, actually.
It's a lovely moment because the work praises the loyalty and wisdom of Zhuge right, left and center for 1500 pages before this moment and 500 pages after this moment. He is the epitome of the proper vassal and the personification of the confucian system. Yet, at this moment, tragically, the empire is undone by Zhuge's finest qualities, and Confucius is just suddently turned on his head.
Martin, yes, you've got exactly what I'm going for!
My favorite Zhuge scene is his death. He dies of exhaustion during the Seige of the Wuzhang Plains, and leaves instructions for the retreat. A dummy of him is constructed and a rearguard counterattacked waged, and Sima Yi, the enemy general who is the one who ultimately reunified the empire, retreats, thinking Zhuge faked his death and the retreat to lull him into a weak position. It lead to the saying, "A dead Zhuge beats a live Sima."