This study proposes an answer to the question of what the contemporary relevance of the writings of GK Chesterton (1874-1936) may be to the field of visual culture studies in general and to discourse on visual hermeneutics in particular. It contends that Chesterton’s distinctive hermeneutic strategy is dramatology: an approach rooted in the idea that being, which is disclosed to itself via language, has a dramatic, storied structure. It is this dramatology that acts as an answer to any philosophical outlook that would seek to de-dramatise the hermeneutic experience. The structure of Chesterton’s dramatology is unpacked via three clear questions, namely the question of what philosophical foundation describes his horizon of understanding, the question of what the task or goal of his interpretive process is and, finally, the question of what tools or elements shape his hermeneutic outlook. The first question is answered via an examination of his cosmology, epistemology and ontology; the second question is answered by the proposal that Chesterton’s chief aim is to uphold human dignity through his defenses of the common man, common sense and democracy; and the third question is answered through a discussion of the three principles that underpin his rhetoric, namely analogy, paradox and defamiliarisation. After proposing the structure of Chesterton’s dramatology via these considerations, the study offers one application of this dramatology to Terrence Malick’s film 'The tree of life' (2011). This is sustained in terms of the incarnational paradox between mystery and revelation that acts as the primary tension and hermeneutic key in Chesterton’s work.