Aristotle asserts that tragedy is “an imitation of an action that serious, complete, and of a certain magnitude” (House, 82) and continues by insisting, “the most tragic situations arise between friends or between blood-relations, that is between those in whom are found the affections and loyalties which characterize the good” (House, 84). Hamlet is the perfect example of this. The play opens, focuses, and ends almost entirely based upon the actions, or reactions, of Hamlet’s quest to avenge his father’s murder. To start, the Ghost of old Hamlet reveals the truth about his death to his son when he says, “But know, thou noble youth the serpent that did sting thy father’s life Now wears his crown” (Hamlet I.v.38-30). It quickly dawns upon Hamlet that he would be able to avenge his father’s death by killing his uncle and taking the...
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...o sleepwalk and unintentionally reveals to her doctor and nurses why she and her husband are delving deeper into madness.
William Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Macbeth are both celebrated and popular tragedies that adhere to the majority of the guidelines set by Aristotle in Poetics. The multiple relations between the two masterpieces show that Shakespeare was indeed an extremely talented playwright who knew not only how to relate characters to the audience, but also how to spin a tale in such a way as to keep all those who watch engaged until the final scene.
House, Humphry. (1978). Aristotle’s Poetics: A Course in Eight Lectures. Great Britain: Greenwood Press.
The Riverside Shakespeare. Ed. G. Blakemore Evans, et al. 2nd ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1997.
Whalley, George. (1997). Aristotle’s Poetics. Canada: McGill-Queens University Press.
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