Another point from classic aesthetic theory that may be relevant to the Dhammapada is the principle of how a literary work is given unity. Although the text does not provide a step-by-step sequential portrait of the path of wisdom, as a lyric anthology it is much more unified than most Indian examples of that genre. The classic theory of dramatic plot construction may be playing an indirect role here. On the one hand, a plot must exhibit unity by presenting a conflict or dilemma, and depicting the attainment of a goal through overcoming that conflict. This is precisely what unifies the Dhammapada: it begins with the duality between heedless and heedful ways of living, and ends with the final attainment of total mastery. On the other hand, the plot must not show smooth, systematic progress; otherwise the work would turn into a treatise. There must be reversals and diversions to maintain interest. This principle is at work in the fairly unsystematic ordering of the Dhammapada's middle sections. Verses dealing with the beginning stages of the path are mixed together with those dealing with later stages and even stages beyond the completion of the path.