Aristotle and Tragedy

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A tragedy’s itended purpose is to raise emotions of both pity and fear through a catharsis. The audience often feels empthatic for the protagonist, as he or she is likely described as a tragic hero. In order to be classified as a tragic hero there are specific criteria that must be met. Aristotle dissected tragedy to further understand the purpose, components, and the criterium. Through his studies, Aristotle formulated, Poetics, his very own book explaining his theory on tragedy. Aristotle defined tragedy as the “imitation of action according to the “law of probability or necessity” (“Outline of Aristotle's Theory of Tragedy."). For William Shakespeare, tragedy was a literary genre that he as an author had skillfully mastered. Shakespeare understood the complexity of tragedy which he demostrated in brilliant literary works such as Hamlet, Julius Caesar, Romeo and Juliet, and Othello. Shaksespeare was able to captivate his audiences for. Shakespeare created great literary works that enticed his audience with all the elements which Aristotle mentioned. Based on Aristotle’s definition of a tragic hero, Othello, the Moor of Venice meets the criteria to be considered an Aristotelian tragedy.
To this day, Aristotle’s theory of tragedy is used to further dissect a literary work and its components. In order to be considered a tragedy, it must include six parts; those being plot, characters, diction, thought, spectacle, and melody. Plot is considered to be the most important since it is essentially the structure of the play. In a tragedy, plot is referred to as the tragic plot and it is considered to to be both single and complex. There are three steps in a tragic plot, reversal, recognition, and suffering. Ultimately, it is the cha...

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...orrect to label Othello as a tragic hero as well as to classify Othello, The Moor of Venice an aristotelian tragedy.

Works Cited

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Golden, Leon. “Othello, Hamlet, and Aristotelian Tragedy”. Shakespeare Quarterly, Vol. 35 No. 2 (Summer, 1984): pp 142-156. Print.

"Outline of Aristotle's Theory of Tragedy." Outline of Aristotle's Theory of Tragedy. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Mar. 2014.

Shakespeare, William. “Othello, the Moor of Venice.” Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing. Seventh Edition. X.J Kennedy & Dana Gioia. New York: Pearson, 2013. Pages 1002-1103. Print.
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