Tragedy : A Modern Tragedy Essays

Tragedy : A Modern Tragedy Essays

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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 who is as ordinary as your neighbor or the person that sits next to you at school. In modern tragedy characters no longer depend on “gods” but nature. The reading “To build a fire” by Jack London, a short American story is qualified to be a modern tragedy. It is a modern tragedy that has the qualifications of a tragedy which is defined by Aristotle in “Poetics” and also has some tweaks and differences which allows it to be called a modern tragedy.
In the reading of Oedipus Rex, which was written in 430 B.C, the main character of the story is warned by the oracle of Apollo which tells him a prophecy that “..I would wed my mother, and produce a race intolerable for men to see and be my natural father’s murderer...” (Sophocles29), meaning that Oedipus would marry his mother and kill his father. He still after finding out that the reason why his town (Thebes) is under such harmful time decides to curse the murder of king Laius which is told to be the reason of the damage of Thebes. He then is info...


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... to be appropriate for modern time tragedies. “To Build a Fire” by John London is a modern tragedy because in modern times, the main character can be anybody from a normal basic person to a person with higher power such as a king or hero. An example of a modern tragedy dealing with a normal person would be how the main character of “To Build a Fire” is described as a newcomer and not given a name. It is a modern tragedy because both characters realize that what they have done in not accepting the piece of advice that was given to them was wrong, and regret it wishing they could go back and fix their mistakes. The catastrophe and catharsis is part of a modern tragedy because catastrophe is a change of fortune his fortune goes from good to bad where he is prepared and packed with matches and his food, and then his matches go all out and he can no longer cook his food.

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