An Analysis and Comparison of Modern Tragedy in Drama

1485 Words6 Pages
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…show more content…
case rests in the fact that Teddy murdered his wife, who suffered from mania, after she drowned his two children. Once Teddy becomes aware of these truths his character, his status as a U.S. Martial, evaporates as he contemplates his history and loss. Likewise, Oedipus’ search for the true murder of Laius eventually reveals that he in fact murdered the former King. Once Oedipus becomes aware of this fact his whole persona and world unravel as further truths become inherently evident. He must face the reality that destiny drove the outcome of his life; and his inability to heed the advice of Jocasta, his wife and mother, who pleads “In God’s name I beg you—no.3” results in his fall from greatness and virtue. These two stories therefore illustrate the climax in manners described by Aristotle who argues, “The middle, or climax, must be caused by earlier incidents and itself cause the incidents that follow.4” Granted, this element seems characteristic of drama in general, the onset of conflict eventually elicits the apex of action. However, the events that follow the climax allow tragedy to separate from other sects of fiction. The dénouement of Shutter Island demonstrates the aspect of unraveling, or even entropy, which Aristotle discusses. In this story, Teddy comes to his realization of the truth, and as a result, decides to feign lunacy in order to receive a lobotomy. We initially view Teddy Daniels as an imposing figure, a U.S.
Get Access