Hamlet is More Tragic than Antigone

1065 Words Jun 20th, 2018 5 Pages
Aristotle views tragedy as an “imitation of an action that is serious,complete and of a certain

length and scope in language pleasurably embellished with each kind of artistic ornament” (Gassner

23).The audience should be introduced to a story which, even when merely told, it produces a thrill of

horror and pity and a kind of pleasure and is most effective between kindred . Aristotle lays out

Aristotle lays out specific ingredients to a tragedy including a plot, characters, thought (intellect),

diction and song. This paper will analyze William Shakespeare’s Hamlet and how it is more tragic then

Sophocles, Antigone, by reflecting on the ingredients in Aristotle's view of tragedy.

Aristotle believes that the most
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Creon orders guards to find the

buried body and unbury it. Antigone finds her brother’s uncovered body and tries to rebury it again.

Creon sentences Antigone into a cell. Teiresias orders Creon to bury the body, Creon listens to him and

finds Antigone’s body dead in the cell. Haemon, Antigone's fiancé and Creon's son, kills himself with

his own sword upon seeing. These actions lead into one another, they are all actions of suffering and


Again, Aristotle believed that “a tragedy is defined as an imitation of an event that is serious,

complete, and possessing magnitude..."(Gassner 19). In Hamlet it is evident that this is a serious play

that possess much magnitude. The actions, consequently, revolves around the event of a king, and the

seriousness present in the play involves Hamlet's desire to enact revenge on his father's murderer. Hamlet being the protagonist in the play, is the agent of the action, he is revolved around sets of

chains of events that eventually decides Hamlet's fate. Tragedies according to Aristotle, must effect

“through pity and fear” (Gassner 23), in the play Hamlet this play certainly evokes pity and fear to the

situations he was in. In particular his fathers murder, his mother's marriage with his uncles, he

accidentally kills the wrong person,Ophelia's death and his death is plotted these
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