When hearing the word Tragedy, it would not be surprising if several different individuals would immediately think of several unique examples of the word. Perhaps one is an opera enthusiast who immediately thinks of Puccini’s La Boheme. Another is a war enthusiast that thinks about History Channel’s new episode highlighting the harshest and bloodiest battles of World War One. Even a third one obsessed with Greek mythology could generate a handful of examples of tragedy. Tragedy, like love or comedy is a universal theme that can be used to entertain, enlighten and excite its audiences. William Shakespeare, a world renown writer, was a master of this genre writing works, including Romeo and Juliet, Othello, and Hamlet. Another lesser known
A “tragedy, for Shakespeare, is the genre of uncompensated suffering” (Dutton and Howard, 2003, p. 9). To really understand the play Othello is to truly understand a tragedy; thus, this researcher will analyze Aristotle’s view point and compare it to phrases (or quotes) from Shakespeare’s Othello.
By definition, a tragedy is a story that details the downfall of a protagonist. Most often, the protagonist (tragic hero) is a member of high society who is faced with an oppositional force, be it internal or external. In his Poetics, Aristotle states that "tragedy is the imitation of an action; and an action implies personal agents, who necessarily possess certain distinctive qualities both of character and thought; for it is by these that we qualify actions themselves, and these- thought and character- are the two natural causes from which actions spring, and on actions, again all success or failure depends...." This quote illustrates an aspect of tragedy upon which many works are based, including
Aristotle defines what a tragedy is in his famed piece Poetics. In it, he sets guidelines that all tragedies should meet in order to become the fantastic displays of misery that they are meant to be. Six main elements are present in every tragedy: plot, character, thought, diction, melody, and spectacle. The two most important, of course, were plot and character. Both had to be complex but believable, consistent, and possess the ability to arouse pity and fear in the audience. Although both are the top elements that are the focus of tragedy, the other four are imperative to achieve the tone and overall character of one.
Aristotle is known widely for developing his ideas on tragedy. He recorded these ideas in his Poetics in which he comments on the plot, purpose, and effect that a true tragedy must have. The structure of these tragedies has been an example for many writers including Shakespeare himself. Many of Shakespeare’s plays follow Aristotelian ideas of tragedy, for instance Macbeth does a decent job in shadowing Aristotle’s model.
Aristotle thoroughly describes his understanding of the tragedy in the Poetics and bases this conception on certain requirements. According to Aristotle the three most important variables that define a tragedy are plot, characters, and theme. Using Oedipus Rex as a sort of ideal, this philosopher demonstrates how a tragedy functions in order to evoke catharsis while exploring themes and human flaws, or mistakes. In Oedipus Rex, the main figure, Oedipus the King is a subject of fate, unable to escape himself and his desire to uncover the truth. In essence, this drama demonstrates the fall of a prominent figure brought down by his inescapable fortune and self-destruction. I definitely believe it is difficult to find a modern day tragedy that
Walker continues to use negative imagery and ideas to reveal her hesitation towards the arrangement. The author uses these literary devices because she wants to illustrate Roselily’s reasons for marrying the man. Roselily does this because it is what's best for her and her children. In a way, Roselily is being forced because she does not have a better alternative to her current life. By marrying the man, Roselily will have a renewed lifestyle and reputation. Roselily imagines the flowers in her hand as kids. When she does this, her head fills with murderous thoughts. “A squeeze around the flowers in her hands chokes off three and four and five years of breath” (Walker 4). As guilty as Roselily feels, this shows how Roselily wishes she never had given birth to any of her kids. When she tightens her grip on the bouquet of flowers, she thinks of her children. Roselily dreams she did not give birth to these kids. Roselily’s ideas of murder could possibly be associated with her obsession with the idea of her personal spirit being robbed from her. Weddings usually give off positive connotations, however in Roselily’s mind she disturbs the happy wedding with dark thoughts such as the idea of murder. Deviating from the topic of “personal spirit”, Brent studies the ferocious thoughts swarming Roselily’s mind. “Roselily’s rebellious thoughts during the wedding ceremony go so far as to enter the realms of murder and blasphemy. She expresses a wish that she could be free of her three
The transformations in people are caused by a variety of circumstances. Within the variety of these circumstances, stress is the most influential one. In Eugenia Collier’s short story Marigolds, it tells the narrative of a young African-American girl living in rural Maryland. Due to her frustration with life, she destroys Miss Lottie’s marigolds. In the story Marigolds, the author uses the narrator’s transformation and characterization to convey that identity is only found in times of crisis.
Today, tragedy is understood as a disastrous event, that involves an enormous loss of life (ex: terrorist attack, natural disaster, etc.), which gains widespread media attention for public perception and world understanding. As a literary term, tragedy in a fictional narrative, typically drama involves a sorrowful event, where a good individual, who through a character flaw and/or conflict with an overwhelming effect, experiences setbacks of fortune from success to adversity and becomes a tragic individual. Tragedy usually involves the death of one or more characters (including the tragic individual) caused by the actions of a tragic individual and/or the villain in the literary work of art. (Aristotle)
What is a tragedy? A tragedy is a drama in which the protagonist is brought to ruin or suffers extreme sorrow, especially as a consequence of a tragic flaw, moral weakness, or inability to cope with unfavorable circumstances. In the play Othello, William Shakespeare uses the literary device characterization in sequence to convey that Othello’s tragic flaw is the main reason that brings Othello to his downfall --- death. The causes of the tragedy of Othello are Othello’s gullibility to Iago, jealousy of Desdemona’s affair, and male pride.
Aristotle’s “The Poetics” describes the process of a tragedy. It is not the guide per se of writing a tragedy but is the idea’s Aristotle collected while studying tragedies. A tragedy, according to Aristotle, consists of six major points. The first and most important is the plot, which is what all the other points are based on. Such points are: character, language, thought, melody, and spectacle (Aristotle). A prime example of the usage of these parts in a tragic drama is evident in Sophocles’ “Oedipus Rex”.
When we think of the tragedy, we think of something bad happening to someone. This cannot be a tragedy. To know what tragedy is we have to take a look at what Arthur Miller thinks of as tragic.
Before beginning, however, it is necessary to examine the aim of Tragedy. A Tragic work, according to Aristotle, was simply one that showed men as better than they typically are in everyday reality. Tragedy served to show mankind at his noblest, without, however, depicting man as unreal or unbelievable. To represent a noble man
The main criteria set by Aristotle involves the plot and the plays main character. According to Aristotle, for a tragedy to be both successful and effective there must be a reversal, a "change from one state of affairs to its exact opposite", and there must be recognition, "a change from ignorance to knowledge" on the part of the main character. The plot should not be
Aristotle defines a tragedy as a ‘representation of an action which is important, complete and limited in length. It is enacted not recited and by arousing pity and fear, it gives an outlet to emotions of this type.’