The characters, including the chorus, consistently respond to events based on their personalities and the vocabulary is interesting and relevant to the set time period. In conclusion, “Antigone” possesses all the requirements listed in Aristotle’s “Theory of Tragedy” and also includes the specific aspects within those requirements. This proves and upholds the quality of this play write. It would seem that a tragedy of this quality will with stand time just as long as the criteria used to analyze it.
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.
Throughout the period, specific emphasis was placed upon rational perspective and behavior (Neoclassicism). 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. The first principle that Aristotle outlines in Poetics is that of the plot, and according to him, the most important feature in a play.
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.
It is a fact clearly evident from this contextual standpoint that Oedipus Rex and consequently Oedipus, the hero of the play, serve as the most original incarnation--typical example--of the theory of tragedy. So the point now is whether or not Oedipus' has a multi-dimensional and controversial character does not alter the validity of the aforementioned fact, that Oedipus Rex is a model tragedy, simply because of three reasons: First, Oedipus still retains much of the characteristics of tragic heroes, like his noble origin and also position, goodness especially as a king, tragic flaws and irreversible mistakes. Second, the issue of fate, on which the controversiality of Oedipus is based, is to be taken from a special perspective where the age of mythology is taken into consideration. Third, if we are to admit that Oedipus' tragic end is doomed by fate, then this will functionally enrich the play as a tragedy rather than devaluate it. Oedipus is endowed mostly all tragic characteristics that qualify him for a model tragic hero.
An Analysis of Hamlet under Aristotle’s Theory on Tragedy Aristotle, as a world famous philosopher, gives a clear definition of tragedy in his influential masterpiece Poetics, a well-known Greek technical handbook of literary criticism. In Aristotle’s words, a tragedy is “an imitation of an action that is serious, complete, and of a certain magnitude, language embellished with each kind of artistic ornament, the several kinds being found in separate parts of the play, the form of action, not of narrative, through pity and fear effecting the proper purgation of these emotions”(Aristotle 12). He believes that a tragedy should be serious and complete in appropriate and pleasurable language; the plot of tragedy should be dramatic, whose incidents will arouse pity and fear, and finally accomplish a catharsis of emotions. His theory of tragedy has been exerting great influence on the tragedy theories in the past two thousand years. Shakespeare, as the greatest dramatist in western literature, also learnt from this theory.
Aristotle Horace Longinus: Classical Literary Criticism. New York: Penguin, 1965. Ley, Graham. The Ancient Greek Theater. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1991.
In Poetics' by Aristotle, the author talks about what he feels are the conventions of any successful tragic play. With that in mind perhaps the greatest tragedy from his time period if not ever is Oedipus the King by Sophocles. It fits almost perfectly the majority of the criteria Aristotle sets and so has been considered by some scholars as the perfect tragedy. The main criteria set by Aristotle involves the plot and the plays main character. According to Aristotle, for a tragedy to be both successful and effective there must be a reversal, a "change from one state of affairs to its exact opposite", and there must be recognition, "a change from ignorance to knowledge" on the part of the main character.
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.
The plot must be complete with an arrangement of incidents, which is more important then the actual characters in the play. By this Aristotle means that it must be structured as whole having a beginning, middle, and end. He mentions the plots are either simple or complex, an action which is continuous is called simple while complex plot is an action changed by reversal or by recognition or both. According to Aristotle an effective plot device, and a very commonly used device for tragedies is recognition (anagnorsis) and reversal (peripeteia). This is when characters recognize their wrong doings while their fortune reverses usually when something is good it soon becomes bad and to some degree the character ends up putting it on himself.