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A Survey of Tragedy

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A Survey of Tragedy
A modern tragedy of today and a tragedy of ancient Greece are two very different concepts, but ironically, both are linked by many similarities. In “Poetics”, Aristotle defines and outlines tragedy for theatre in a way that displays his genius, but raises questions and creates controversy. Aristotle’s famous definition of tragedy states:
“A tragedy is the imitation of an action that is serious, and also as having magnitude, complete in itself in language with pleasurable accessories, each kind brought in separately in the parts of the work; in a dramatic, not in a narrative form: with incidents arousing pity and fear; wherewith to accomplish its catharsis of such emotions.”
I believe Aristotle’s meaning of “Imitate” is to play out, as in acting, and with “Magnitude” is to imply great importance or consequence. The phrase “complete in itself in language” is the method in which the drama is delivered to the audience, while “pleasurable accessories” would refer to the costumes, props and stage. Where Aristotle states; “each kind brought in separately in the parts of the work”, I believe he is referring to the different “Scenes” within the different “Acts”. His term “dramatic, not in a narrative form” refers to “Acting”. His phrase with “incidents arousing pity and fear” would indicate the audience should witness events that drive emotion toward somebody they admire. Aristotle’s phrase, “wherewith to accomplish its catharsis of such emotions, would indicate that at the end of the play there should be a act that will purge the emotions the play was intended to create.
I feel “Poetics” provides a sound blueprint for constructing a story that will immerse an audience into an adventure. By providing, a real...

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...’s man way out there in the blue, riding on a smile and a Shoeshine. And when they start not smiling back — that’s an earthquake. And then you get yourself a couple of spots on your hat, and you’re finished. Nobody dast blame this man. A salesman is got to dream, boy. It comes with the territory.”
I believe the similarities have proved, through the test of time, that Aristotle’s definition of tragedy to be both enduring and accurate.

Works Cited

Aristotle. “Concept of Tragedy": An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama. 1991: 1203-1205
Miller, Arthur. “Death of a Salesman”: Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama. 1991: 280-317
Miller, Arthur "Tragedy and the Common Man," Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama. 1991: 1831-1833

Sophocles. “Oedipus the King”: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama. 1991:1205-1244
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