Aristotle sees tragedy of being made of pity and fear. When tragedies occur in people’s lives it appears fear and pity is always an accompanying trait. Aristotle finds these two emotions to be staples in creating the perfect tragedy play. A tragic hero is the direct spawn of creating a tragic play. Aristotle’s tragic hero is made up of three requirements.
Shakespeare, as the greatest dramatist in western literature, also learnt from this theory. Hamlet is one of the most influential tragedies written by Shakespeare. The play vividly focuses on the theme of moral corruption, treachery, revenge, and incest. This essay will first analyze Shakespeare’s Hamlet under Aristotle’s tragedy theory. Then this essay will express personal opinion on Aristotle’s tragedy theory.
If we carefully examine the third scene in the third act, we can see how Othello fits into Aristotle's definition of tragic hero. This passage reveals how much Othello has deteriorated as far as his ability to reason or consider things with Desdemona logically. Humanity seems to unravel in this scene as we watch Othello experience a myriad of emotions that only push him closer to the proverbial edge. We feel fear, sympathy, and pity as we watch the man transform before our eyes. The tragedy of Othello has all of the different qualities that a play must have to be considered a tragedy.
His analytical treatise, "The Poetics" was based on the evidence of many Greek plays. He came to the conclusion that a tragedy must have these characteristics: a tragic hero, and a harmatia (tragic flaw). For example in "Macbeth" the harmatia was excessive ambition. He also concluded that a tragedy provokes pity and fear and that it produces in the spectator a catharsis of these emotions. In this way a tragedy can be socia... ... middle of paper ... ...ing for the moment, and they pay the consequences.
Aristotle the famous philosopher outlined several requirements in which a play or piece of drama is to follow. The first rule that is met in Shakespeare’s play is that Othello is considered tragic hero, which every tragedy must contain. According to Aristotle, the tragic hero must be a man in a position of power who is a good person and makes a mistake during the timeline of the play due to a tragic flaw. Othello’s major flaw can be seen as jealousy: “Othello has often been described as a tragedy of character, as the play’s protagonist swiftly descends into a rage of jealousy that completely destroys his life”("Othello"). Othello is shown he is a good man within the first few scenes of the play: “She wished she had not heard it; yet she wished That heaven had made her such a man” (1.3.162-163).
The play “Oedipus Rex”, exemplifies Aristotle’s assertion of a tragic hero by King Oedipus’ explicit flaw of arrogance causing his fall from nobility and high estate. Aristotle’s concept of a tragic hero is woven into the plot of “Oedipus Rex”. The criteria for Aristotle’s concept of a tragic hero is that a protagonist is “fallible” and of “high estate”, typical a noblemen. (Kennedy and Giola 856) Aristotle’s tragic hero concept has defined the art of tragedies since its conception. Along with Aristotle’s concept, the character Oedipus can be further defined as having “a weakness the Greeks called hubris – extreme pride, leading to overconfidence.” (Kennedy and Giola 857) Oedipus exhibits this personality flaw of hubris throughout the play, and it is the hubris tied with arrogance that causes of his tragic fall from nobility.
N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Jan. 2014. hamletcharacter.html>. Schwartz, Debora B. "Shakespeare's Plays: Tragedy."
The Ancient Greek philosopher, Aristotle, outlined a theory of tragedy as archetypal drama in his classic work, the Poetics. He uses the play by Sophocles, Oedipus the King (hereafter "Oedipus"), as the standard model by which all other tragedies are measured. In Aristotle's view, a perfect tragedy should not be simple, but rather complex in its action. It is the degree of complexity of the tragedy, the true increase in the amount of suffering that the heroic character has to go through, that intensifies the use of this device. The truly tragic figure will go through the play experiencing gradually increasing amounts of knowledge which reveal more horrible details.
Golden (1984) argued the structure of Shakespearean tragedy would be that individual characters revolved around some pain and misery. Aristotle continued to express a tragedy arouses both pity and fear, pity for the doomed hero and fear for all humans who are subject to the same forces and weakness. It would not be difficult to discover that Othello demonstrate weakness and fear in the play, and Shak... ... middle of paper ... ...rks Cited Barroll, J. L. (1975). The structure of a shakespearean tragedy. Shakespeare Studies, 8, 1.