The Tragedy Of King Lear, And The Sorrows Of Young Werther
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Greek philosopher Aristotle wrote the book Poetics. Poetics explains what goes into a tragedy to make a tragedy a “good tragedy”. Aristotle noted that there are six elements to a tragedy which are most important. These six elements being Plot, Character, Thought, Diction, Melody, and Spectacle.
Both King Lear, and The Sorrows of Young Werther touch on numerous elements of a good tragedy imposed by Aristotle in Poetics.
William Shakespeare’s King Lear, and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s The Sorrows of Young Werther are both tragedies, with the former being written as a play, and the latter being written as a novel. Both fall under the genre of tragedy.
While the genre of both King Lear and The Sorrows of Young Werther may be tragedies, there is an underlying theme that also connects the two. King Lear and The Sorrows of Young Werther are both tragedies with love as a part of the storyline, but love affects the protagonists in different ways. For Lear, it is a matter of love and deception, while for Werther, it is love and obsession.
Both of the protagonists have a character flaw. Lear’s flaw is that he is easily deceived. Werther’s flaw is his uncontrollable emotions.
For Lear, he is deceived by his daughters, Regan and Goneril, when the two flatter Lear with exaggerated statements about how much they love Lear. The flattering statements from Goneril and Regan are exactly what Lear wants to hear. At the beginning stage of the play, Lear is a character who values