Poetics: A Modern Tragedy

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In the reading “Poetics” by Greek philosopher Aristotle, the word Tragedy is defined as “an imitation of an action that is serious complete and of certain magnitude; in language embellished with each kind of artistic ornament” (Aristotle 1). This indicates that tragedy is foreshadowing what might happen in the future. In the book of Oedipus Rex, written by Sophocles, a Greek Philosopher as well, tragedy is well defined throughout the book. The components of tragedy are the following: good or fine, fitness of character, true to life or realistic, true to themselves, necessary or probable, yet more beautiful. A modern tragedy has the components in which characters no longer must be a king or anyone important with power, but it can be anybody…show more content…
The newcomer even after being told to not travel alone he still travels with no other human being that is able to help him out or support him. This is an example of a modern tragedy because it can be compared to a real tragedy, in which the main character of Oedipus Rex, goes through so much pain and struggles for not listening to the blind prophet such like the newcomer did not listen to the old comer. The newcomer “wets himself halfway to the knees before he floundered out to the firm crust, his wet feet froze the faster, and his exposed fingers numbed the faster, though they had not yet begun to freeze. Nose and cheeks were already freezing, while the skin of all his body chilled as it lost its blood” (London 5). Oedipus faced the consequences of being stubborn by making his wife come to the truth that she has married her own son and then he “beheld his wife hanging, entwined in a twined noose”, after him seeing his wife dead he “snatching from her dress gold pin wherewith she was adorned, he lifted them, and smote the nerves of his own eyeball” (Sophocles 44). He suffered the dreadful consequences of being vanished from the city he once ruled and not being able to take his own daughters with…show more content…
This allows the endings of the story to either have an ending where the main character dies or is still alive but does not go back to the same lifestyle he or she had before. In a modern tragedy it can be either or, but in the case of the newcomer in “To Build a Fire” he “drowsed off into what seemed to him the most comfortable and satisfying sleep he had ever known” (London 10) meaning he passed away. In Oedipus Rex, his ending is different, in which he is allowed to still be alive but vanished outside of the city into the mountains where he can no longer rule the City of Thebes or be with his family. “To Build a Fire” is a modern tragedy and not a tragedy because its ending is different, yet the story has some of the same components that a tragedy such as Oedipus Rex does. Both the newcomer and Oedipus Rex admit that the people who gave them advice about what was going to happen in the future were correct. That they should of taken the advice that was given to them and prevented death or the vanishing of themselves from the city and the death of their loved ones. “You were right, old hoss; you were right,"(London 10) the man mumbled to the old-timer. “After all this, after all this vile discovery which I, myself brought out to the brutal light of truth” (Sophocles

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