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
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.
Tragedy is an element of literature. It is rooted in Greek mythology and ancient Greek society. Its definition is “A literary piece that consists of a courageous noble character who must confront powerful obstacles, either external or from within”, and “the protagonist usually has a tragic
In working so hard to project this persona, Lear is untrue to himself, and loses sight of who he is. Even the scheming Goneril and Regan notice that their father “hath ever but/ slenderly known himself.” (I, i, 282-283) This makes Lear a very insecure person, which explains in part why he insists that his daughters stroke his ego before receiving any of his kingdom. His identity crisis is highlighted when he asks who can verify who he is, and the response by the Fool is: “Lear’s shadow.” (I, iv, 251) At this point in the play, Lear is sane and is still the monarch of the kingdom. Nevertheless, the Fool’s insightful comment insists that Lear is nothing more than a shadow of his true self. Plato would say that he is trapped in the shadow world of the cave, unable to grasp the true forms. This self-imposed persona estranges Lear from his audience; his vulnerability as a human is masked by his rash behavior and unjust decisions. Bloom says that “before he goes mad, Lear’s consciousness is beyond ready understanding; his lack of self-knowledge, blended with his awesome authority, makes him unknowable by us.” Without understanding a character, an audience is most definitely unable to sympathize with him, and here we run into a potentially problematic issue. Aristotle believes that
In the play King Lear, the two characters Gloucester and King Lear, both run on very parallel paths. the turning point in the play where the reader starts to feel sorry for them is as soon as things start to go bad for them. Early in the play, Lear makes bad decisions on which daughters to give his land and power to, while Gloucester is making Edmund feel bad for being a bastard. Their decisions blow up in their faces and the reader starts to feel bad for them. King Lear is driven to madness and Gloucester has his eyes gouged out and want to kill himself. The impressions on both of these characters change throughout the course of the play in the same way.
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”.
Throughout time, the tragedy has been seen as the most emotionally pleasing form of drama, because of its ability to bring the viewer into the drama and feel for the characters, especially the tragic hero. This analysis of tragedy was formed by the Greek philosopher Aristotle, and also noted in his Poetics (guidelines to drama). As a playwright, Shakespeare used Aristotle’s guidelines to tragedy when writing Othello. The play that was created revolved around the tragic hero, Othello, whose tragic flaw transformed him from a nobleman, into a destructive creature, which would inevitably bring him to his downfall. This transformation follows an organic movement of the complex plot from the beginning, middle, to the end of the drama while
What aspects employ the genre of tragedy within novels, plays, and cinema? Tragedy is something that is defined universally as the upheaval of any plot, story, or play where an event causes or leads to great suffering for everyone. Authors, playwrights, and even directors all know the certain scene or event that is key for the foreshadowing of tragedy to take place. This signal in any work allows us as an audience or reader to understand the meaning and significance for the need for a certain event to occur. King Lear the renown play about family ties by William Shakespeare has the genre tragedy stamped all over it due to the chaotic and brutal ending. The historian Hayden White’s essay “The Historical Text as Literary Artifact” focuses
Tragedy as an element of the human experience has been the subject of many of the great works of literature written in the Western tradition. For some, tragedy embodies the highest form of humanity. It is through suffering that we are able to reveal ourselves most completely. Others see tragedy as an element of morality where we are to learn well the lessons of those who tempt the gods. The Ancient Greek philosopher, Aristotle, outlined a theory of tragedy as archetypal drama in his classic work, the Poetics. He uses the play by Sophocles, Oedipus the King (hereafter "Oedipus"), as the standard model by which all other tragedies are measured. In Aristotle's view, a perfect
This reckless behaviour causes Lear to lose a valued and trustworthy follower. Without a doubt, Lear's rash behaviour contributes to the suffering he endures at the hands of others.
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
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.’
Aristotle was a famous disciple of Plato who first defines fine arts and he differs with his teacher Plato in his book of Poetic. His Poetic deals with the principles of Poetic art in general and tragedy in particular on the basis of his analysis and the principles of his Poetic are Probability, Catharsis, Mimesis, Tragic Hero and Hamartia. This essay will explain tragedy looking through Aristotle’s tragic principles in the book Things fall Apart by Chinua Achebe.