Then this essay will express personal opinion on Aristotle’s tragedy theory. The purpose of this essay is to help the reader better understand Aristotle’s theory of tragedy and Shakespeare’s masterpiece Hamlet. In Poetics, Aristotle defines plot as “the arrangement of the incidents” (Aristotle 12). He indicates that there are six elements in every tragic play, which are plot, character, thought, diction, melody and spectacle, among these plot is placed in the foremost positi... ... middle of paper ... ...n Aristotle’s view of characters. Aristotle also suggests that a tragedy should have the power to provoke audience’s emotion of pity and fear.
According to Aristotle’s Poetics, a tragedy must involve a reversal of fortune of the main character. This character must be of great character and dignity so that his downfall is all the more spectacular which leads to the audience feeling pity and fear; two essential traits required for a drama to be defined as a tragedy. This downfall is triggered by a fatal mistake, or as Aristotle defined, Hamartia. One wouldn’t expect all these qualities to be detected within two mere soliloquies; the entire work is what makes a tragedy. However, the whole work can only be approached through analysis of individual elements and two of these elements are the soliloquies in Act I Scene 2 and Act III Scene 1.
The main accessories of the tragedy are “melody” and “spectacle” while Aristotle claimed that the music has to be unified with the play appropriately since Greeks had in their tradition to use musical accompaniment. The “spectacle” mainly deals with the staging of the play and it should be suitable to the subject of the play. The “character” is one of the most important elements of tragedy. Each character has a vital quality or nature which is revealed in the plot. The important thing is that the moral purpose of each character must be obvious to the audience while it should have four qualities.
Subcomponents of a tragic play, they should have six parts plot, character, diction, thought, spectacle and song. Literature and human nature, according to Aristotle our qualities are determined by our characters. A perfect tragedy should imitate a complex action while leading a good man to misfortune by error this is the tragic flaw. Completeness of work i.e. unity of work and time the key qualities are it should have a beginning middle and an end.
Hamlet: The Element of a Tragedy In 350 B.C.E., a great philosopher wrote out what he thought was the definition of a tragedy. As translated by S.H. Butcher, Aristotle wrote; “Tragedy, then, is an imitation of an action that is serious, complete, and of a certain magnitude; in language embellished with each kind of artistic ornament, the several kinds being found in separate parts of the play; in the form of action, not of narrative; with incidents arousing pity and fear, wherewith to accomplish its catharsis of such emotions. . .
Theater is a natural outlet for our desire to hear and tell stories, and in some ways it is even more primal and powerful than the written word. At its worst, theater will merely bore; while at its best it will not only entertain but move and shape its audience. Two such genres of theater, or drama, have consistently achieved this effect. Tragedy, represented by the weeping actors’ mask, usually features the title character’s fall from greatness to ruin, guided by the gods or fate. Oedipus Rex, written by Sophocles, is the epitome of classic Tragedy, as defined by Aristotle (96-101).
Winesburg, Ohio Text and Criticism. Ed. John H. Ferres. New York : The Viking Press, 1966. 23-247.
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.