Aristotle s theory of the Tragic Hero

1888 WordsJan 28, 20158 Pages
Aristotle’s theory of the Tragic Hero: “A man doesn’t become a hero until he can see the root of his own downfall” Tragic hero’s who fit under Aristotle’s depiction are known as ‘Aristotelian Tragic Hero’s’ and possess five specific characteristics; 1) A flaw or error of judgment (also known as ‘hamartia’ which is a fatal flaw leading to the downfall of a tragic hero or heroine) 2) A reversal of fortune due to the error of judgment (also known as ‘peripeteia’, which is a sudden reversal of fortune or change in circumstances) 3) The discovery or recognition that the reversal was brought about by the hero’s own actions (Referred to as ‘anagnorisis’, which is a moment in a play when a character makes a critical discovery) 4) Excessive…show more content…
A good plot progresses like a knot that is tied up with increasingly greater complexity until the moment of peripeteia, at which point the knot is gradually untied until it reaches a completely unknotted conclusion. For a tragedy to arouse pity and fear, we must observe a hero who is relatively noble going from happiness to misery as a result of error on the part of the hero. Our pity and fear is aroused most when it is family members who harm one another rather than enemies or strangers. In the best kind of plot, one character narrowly avoids killing a family member unwittingly thanks to an anagnorisis that reveals the family connection. The hero must have good qualities appropriate to his or her station and should be portrayed realistically and consistently. Since both the character of the hero and the plot must have logical consistency, Aristotle concludes that the untying of the plot must follow as a necessary consequence of the plot and not from stage artifice, like a deus ex machina (a machine used in some plays, in which an actor playing one of the gods was lowered onto the stage at the end). Aristotle discusses thought and diction and then moves on to address epic poetry. Whereas tragedy consists of actions presented in a dramatic form, epic poetry consists of verse presented in a narrative form. Tragedy and epic poetry have many common qualities, most notably the unity of plot and similar subject matter. However, epic poetry can be longer than

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