In order to gain a better and more detailed understand of the qualities required for a tragic work, we should look to the discussion of tragedy found in Aristotle’s Poetics. He defines tragedy as “an imitation of an action that is serious, complete, and possessing magnitude; and effecting through pity and fear the catharsis of such emotions” (Aristotle). Aristotle goes on to describe the tragic hero as a character that has the ability to induce our sympathy and terror, especially since he or she is not necessarily good or evil, but instead, the character is a mixture of both qualities. Through the course of the play, the tragic hero will experience suffering through a change in happiness to despair because of an error or mistaken act. The error itself is led by the hero’s hamartia and regarded by some scholars as his or her tragic flaw. The hamartia eventually causes a recognition known as anagnorisis and a reversal in action known as peripeteia.... [continues]
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