Definition of Tragedy
Miller vs Aristotle
Both Arthur Miller and Aristotle define tragedy; however, both their definitions carry out many similarities and a handful of differences. In Arthur Millers definition of tragedy, he explains the many ways a character in a play can be a tragic hero. Firstly, a tragic flaw must be contemplated through the author’s protagonist. “ The flaw, or the crack in the character, is really nothing and need to be nothing, but his inherent unwillingness to remain passive in the face of what he conceives to be a challenge to his dignity” (Tragedy of a common man, Miller). To simplify this term, Arthur Miller suggests that instead of the tragic hero developing this case of tragic flaw, one must instead be born with it. Oedupis, the king of Thebes, was born with a tragic flaw. In fact, Oedupis has two tragic flaws. The first flaw is the fact that he had no real parents since he was born and was forced to believe in a lie. His second flaw is the fact that he is very arrogant. This is because he refuses to truly comprehend the situations that he is in. An example of such a flaw is during lines 339-357. During this area of conflict, Oedupis’s arrogance makes him blind to the truth and does not see the true talent Teiriesias has. Secondly, Arthur Miller also suggests that a tragic hero must “insist upon the rank of the tragic hero, or the so-called nobility of his character” (Miller). Therefore, the protagonist should be ranked upon society in order to achieve this nobility. Oedupis earned his title as king by solving the riddle of the sphinx and releasing the people of Thebes. Therefore, Oedupis fits Miller’s description of a tragic hero. In addition, a ranking in society will bring along more problems with the title that is gained throughout the play or story. Lastly, Arthur Miller also states that “the need of man to wholly realize himself is the only fixed star, and whatever it is that hedges his nature and lowers it is ripe for the...
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