One may argue that the Greek playwright, Sophocles modeled his play Oedipus Rex on Aristotle's definition and analysis of tragedy. Since according to Aristotle's definition, a tragedy is an imitation of action that is serious, complete and of a certain magnitude; in language embellished artistic ornaments, the several kinds being found in separate parts of the play; in the form of action, not narrative with incidents that evokes pity and fear of a persons emotions. Also Aristotle identified the basic six parts a tragedy as being plot, character, thought, melody, diction and spectacle which he considered the least important. Therefore the controversy of Sophocles modeling his play Oedipus Rex on Aritotle's analysis of tragedy can be argued out since the play Oedipus Rex is a classic Aristotelian tragedy. However this conception is totally fallacious since it is a well known fact that Aristotle lived a century after Sophocles.
According to Aristotle's explanation of character, a basic element in every tragedy, he defines character as what makes as "ascribe certain moral qualities to agents" ( Sophocles 240). The issue of character is evident in the protagonist, King Oedipus, in the play Oedipus Rex. Using King Oedipus in the play as an ideal model it can be deduced that he is very rash and makes very hasty decisions. For example his rashness can be seen from manner in which he pronounces judgement on the person responsible for the plague of the city of Thebes after Creon returns from consulting with the Delphic Oracle. He pronounces judgement on no other person but himself since he is the cause of all the city's woes. His hastiness can also be seen in the manner in which he forces Teiresias to rev...
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...ee Oedipus about his fear of parentage actually does the opposite. Suffering which is also a part of an Aristotelian tragedy is show in how Oedipus ends up miserable in the end as a poor blind man
The other three elements of tragedy as defined by Aristotle that is Melody, Diction and Spectacle can all be traced in the play. With regards to Melody Sophocles makes the chorus know the story line of the play hence making it very easy for the audience to understand the play. Diction that is the style of Oedipus and spectacle which includes the visual effects and stage appearance makes the audience appreciate the play wholeheartedly.
Therefore from the manner in which the Sophocles' play Oedipus Rex contains all the six basic elements of poetics: plot, character, melody, diction, thought and spectacle, Oedipus Rex can be described as a classic Aristotelian Targedy.
As tragic hero Oedipus displays all of the usual canon; power, arrogance, and pride. Oedipus manifests himself in a position of confidence, which he derives from his success at solving the riddle of the Sphinx and marrying a queen.“It was you who came / and released Cadmus’ Town from the tribute / we paid to the cruel songstress…” (Sophocles, 33-35) , “CREON: Then tell me this - / are you not married to my sister?” (Sophocles, 696-697). In turn, it also enabled him to make rash decisions, such as slaying his father, without personal recompense. “I was to slay my father. And he dies, / And the grave hide...
Considered by Aristotle as the perfect example of tragedy, Sophocles’ Oedipus the King is an Athenian play that follows the undoing of a Theban king by the name of Oedipus. The play presents a question Oedipus himself cannot answer: is it the man’s actions or is it the gods’ decisions that control the man’s destiny? Perhaps the answer is both man and god, but it is the man’s imperfections that determine what fate the gods will give him. While there is no direct proof that gods control everything in a man, from his dreams to his choices, Oedipus still proves that no matter how renowned a man is, that man’s weaknesses will determine his success or his failure. Oedipus fits the convention of a tragic hero as he is a man of high estate who suffers
...ods come for the free drugs that he offers. Johnny is a man for whom we feel pride, shame and pity all at once but such a contradictory character would be unstable and unpredictable. Aristotle defines tragedy according to seven characteristics. These are that it is characterized by mimicry, it is serious, it expresses a full story of a relevant length, it contains rhythm and harmony, the rhythm and harmony occur in different combinations in different parts of the tragedy, it is performed not narrated and that it provokes feelings of pity and fear then purges these feelings through catharsis the purging of the emotions and emotional tensions. The composition of a tragedy consists of six segments. In order of relevance, these are plot, character, thought, diction, melody, and performance. For a comedy the ending must be merry. Instead Jerusalem ends in death.
Aristotle defines tragedy in his respected piece Poetics and many other forms of literature. Many tragic heroes such as Oedipus Rex and Romeo and Juliet fit well into this mold of a tragic hero as defined by Aristotle. For example, they were flawed but well intentioned and their lives ended in a catastrophic death. Those plays, and many others in the genre, had all the elements of a tragedy: plot, character, thought, diction, melody, and spectacle. They were fantastic displays of misery that aroused pity and fear in the audience.
Aristotle is the most influential philosopher in the history of Western thought. A Greek drama by Sophocles, Oedipus Rex, was praised in the Poetics of Aristotle as the model for classical tragedy and is still considered a principal example of the genre. In this essay I will analyze Oedipus Rex using Aristotle's concepts praxis, poiesis, theoria.
The ancient Greeks were fond believers of Fate. Fate, defined according to Webster’s, is “the principle or determining cause or will by which things in general are believed to come to be as they are or events to happen as the do.” The Greeks take on Fate was slightly modified. They believed that the gods determined Fate: “…fate, to which in a mysterious way the gods themselves were subject, was an impersonal force decreeing ultimate things only, and unconcerned with day by day affairs.” It was thought that these gods worked in subtle ways; this accounts for character flaws (called harmatia in Greek). Ancient Greeks thought the gods would alter a person’s character, in order for that person to suffer (or gain from) the appropriate outcome. Such was the case in Oedipus’s story.
Neoclassical writers emphasized the importance of the Poetics of Aristotle, as well as the unities of place, time, and action that they extracted from his works. In Poetics, Aristotle laid out the six essential elements of tragedy: plot, character, diction, thought, spectacle, and song (McManus). Each of these components held certain value to what Aristotle believed to be a successful play, however, plot and character held to be the most important.
Aristotle defined tragedy in his respected piece Poetics that defined the tragedy and many other forms of literature. Many tragic heroes such as Oedipus Rex and Romeo and Juliet fit well into this mold of a tragic hero as defined by Aristotle. For example, they were flawed but well intentioned and their lives ended in a catastrophic death. Those plays, and many others in the genre, had all the elements of a tragedy: plot, character, thought, diction, melody, and spectacle. They were fantastic displays of misery that aroused pity and fear in the audience.
Tragedies have been written, told, and acted out for a number of years. Aristotle defined in his book, Poetics that a tragedy is to arouse the emotions of pity, fear, and finally a catharsis, or purging of emotions. A tragic play that perfectly completes this cycle of emotions is Oedipus the King by Sophocles. This play follows a king of the town of Thebes through his journey of the emotions of pity, fear, and finally a catharsis. It is a tale of a man who unknowingly kills his father and fathers the children of his mother as well. The audience is pulled into the play and experiences the plot along with Oedipus.
.... They fear the real identity of Oedipus and they do not want him to discover it. Moreover, the pity is associated with his downfall at the end. These emotional of pity and fear lead to the emotional purgation of the audience, which is the main aim of tragedy according to Aristotle. He is very appropriate to arouse such feelings because he has all the qualities of the tragic hero.
Aristotle's definition of a tragedy consists of several points. "A tragedy, then 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, where-with to accomplish its catharsis of such emotions." (Introduction to Aristotle p 631) Aristotle also claims that a tragedy must have six parts, in order of importance: plot, character, thought, diction, melody, and spectacle. Aristotle goes on to say that a tragedy is imitation not of persons, but of action, life, misery and happiness. The action should be a continuous whole. A tragedy must also contain peripety which is defined by Aristotle as "the change of the kind described from one state of things within the play to its opposite..." (Introduction to Aristotle p 637)
According to Aristotle, a tragedy must be an imitation of life in the form of a serious story that is complete in itself among many other things. Oedipus is often portrayed as the perfect example of what a tragedy should be in terms of Aristotle’s Poetics. Reason being that Oedipus seems to include correctly all of the concepts that Aristotle describes as inherent to dramatic tragedy. These elements include: the importance of plot, reversal and recognition, unity of time, the cathartic purging and evocation of pity and fear, the presence of a fatal flaw in the “hero”, and the use of law of probability.
Oedipus the King is an excellent example of Aristotle's theory of tragedy. The play has the perfect Aristotelian tragic plot consisting of paripeteia, anagnorisis and catastrophe; it has the perfect tragic character that suffers from happiness to misery due to hamartia (tragic flaw) and the play evokes pity and fear that produces the tragic effect, catharsis (a purging of emotion).
Greek Drama had three main categories The Comedy, Satyr Plays, and The Tragedy. The most popular of the three is The Tragedy, its themes are often such as loss of love, complex relationships between men and the gods, and corruption of power. These dramas taught the people of the city the difference between good and bad behavior and the ramifications of going against the gods. According to Aristotle, the perfect tragedy consisted of the downfall of the hero through a great misunderstanding, causing suffering and awareness for the protagonist meanwhile making the audience feel pity and fear. The prominent writer who Aristotle based his perfect tragedy theory was Sophocles, his drama Oedipus the King had all the elements of a perfect tragedy.