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Essay on Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing

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Tragedy is one of the most popular genres that have been loved for more than a thousand years. This genre was first become popular in Ancient Greece, and significant amount of the classic masterpieces are from Greek playwrights. Aristotle, the ancient Greek philosopher, is a main authority on this genre. He sets some specific rules for each tragedy to cleanse audience’s emotion while enjoying the play. He defines tragedy in Poetics, and his criteria are major sources that determine a genuine tragedy. Since Aristotle compiled the definition of the tragedy through observing existing literacies and plays, ‘Oedipus the King’, written by a brilliant playwright Sophocles can be a standard of the tragedy. Therefore, the protagonist Oedipus exemplifies Aristotle’s definition of a tragic hero for Oedipus is a good person, suffers through fatal misjudgment in his character, and arouses pity and fear to the audience through the plot.
Oedipus is a typical tragic hero because he is basically a renowned noble person, and his change of fortune moves from prosperous to miserable. Oedipus the King takes place in the city of Thebes, and the main character Oedipus is a hero and king of Thebes. According to the Literature written by X.J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia, “the hero or chief character of a tragedy…[is] apparently a king or queen or other member of a royal family” (856). Oedipus is a member of a royal family and later he becomes a king by murdering his real father. In addition, the reason why the protagonists are limited to royals is because the criteria of high stature are somewhat hard to satisfy. Aristotle clearly wrote in his writing, Poetics about the requirements of protagonist in the tragedy:
Decent…[and] vicious people must not be show...


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...ction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing. Ed. X. J. Kennedy and Dana Giogia. 6th Compact ed. New York: Longman, 2010. Print.
Halliwell, Stephen. "Aristotle's poetics." The Cambridge History of Literary Criticism.
1st ed. Vol. 1. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990. 149-183. Cambridge
Histories Online. Web. 8 March 2014.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521300063.005
Scodel, Ruth. "A Hidden God: Oedipus the King." Sophocles. Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1984.
58-72. Twayne's World Authors Series 731. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 7 Mar. 2014.
Sophocles. Oedipus the king. Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and
Writing. Ed. X. J. Kennedy and Dana Giogia. 6th Compact ed. New York: Longman,
2010. Print.



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