Five Principles Of Tragedy

1756 Words8 Pages
Discuss the principles of tragedy as defined in Aristotle’s Poetics. Illustrate these principles by examining Sophocles’ play Oedipus the King, in order to establish the link between the theory and practise of tragedy. Analyse the genre of tragedy as one that reveals dilemma and paradox.

The advent of modern theater as we know it today began with the worship of Dionysus: the god of the grape harvest, winemaking and wine, of ritual madness, fertility, theater and religious ecstasy in Greek mythology and a weeklong competition that welcomed the Spring in ancient Greece. Many great playwrights were introduced to the World by the means of this weeklong competition including Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides. Sophocles is perhaps one of the pioneers of the genre of tragedy and his plays Oedipus Rex, Antigone and Oedipus at Colonus have for centuries inspired contemporary playwrights and theater artists to venture deeper into the understanding of the complex idea of the individual versus fate. In this essay I intend to examine Aristotle’s Poetics and the five principles
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In Oedipus, Sophocles creates a character who’s not only the king but, also the solver of the Sphinx’s riddle and hence, can be recognised as a man portrayed better than ‘he would’ve been in real life: a man with an intricately defined moral compass and elevated social stature.’ Further examples of Oedipus as an ideal tragic hero can be derived out of the fact that he comes from a noble and prosperous background as he’s the biological son of the Laius, king of Thebes and the adopted son of Polybus, the king of Corinth. He also is greatly revered in the society and respected as a very adept and benevolent king which is evident from the Priest’s reference to him as “the first of men.” Oedipus is also greatly worried by the Pestilence that haunts the city of Thebes and says the following in that
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