Aristotle On Tragedy


In the century after Sophocles, the philosopher Aristotle analyzed tragedy. His definition: Tragedy then, is an imitation of an action that is serious, complete, and of a certain magnitude; in language embellished with each kind of artistic ornament, the several kinds being found in separate parts of the play; in the form of action, not of narrative; through pity and fear effecting the proper purgation of these emotions.
Aristotle identified six basic elements: (1) plot; (2) character; (3) diction (the choice of style, imagery, etc.); (4) thought (the character's thoughts and the author's meaning); (5) spectacle (all the visual effects; Aristotle considered this to be the least important ...

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should be famous or prosperous, like Oedipus or Medea.
What Aristotle meant by hamartia cannot be established. In each play we read you should particularly consider the following possibilities. (1) A hamartia may be simply an intellectual mistake or an error in judgement. For example when a character has the facts wrong or doesn't know when to stop trying to get dangerous information. (2) Hamartia may be a moral weakness, especially hubris, as when a character is moral in every way except for being prideful enough to insult a god. (Of course you are free to decide that the tragic hero of any play, ancient or modern, does not have a hamartia at all). The terms hamartia and hubris should become basic tools of your critical apparatus.
The Concept of Tragedy:
The word tragedy can be applied to a genre of literature. It can mean 'any serious and dignified drama that describes a conflict between the hero (protagonist) and a superior force (destiny, chance, society, god) and reaches a ...

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Added: 11/8/2008 11:37:02 AM
Category: Biographies
Type: Premium Paper
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