Nature of Tragedy

Topics: Tragedy, Quiz Show, Tragic hero Pages: 4 (1299 words) Published: November 26, 2011
For many centuries the tragedy holds to continue to be perceived as the most ardently gratifying arrangement of drama because it encompasses the capability of transporting the spectator into the drama as well as allowing them to empathize with the characters, particularly the tragic hero. The study noted above regarding tragedy was shaped by the Greek philosopher, Aristotle. Aristotle also noted that the tragic flaw is imperative in the characteristic of the protagonist and the proceedings that transpire in the piece are a manifestation of that flaw (“The Poetics by Aristotle: XIII.”). This philosophy of the tragic hero can be located in both Charles Van Doren in Quiz Show and Shakespeare’s character, Othello, in his play Othello. It is the characters’ prominence and faults as well as their ability to acquire their audiences pity in which label them tragic heroes. Charles Van Doren in Robert Redford’s Quiz Show possesses an existence in which numerous souls would envy. His affiliation with being one of the country's highly knowledgeable and esteemed families (his father labeled an eminent professor at Columbia University as well as a Pulitzer-prize awarded poet, his uncle defined as a renowned historian, and his mother being a recognized author possessing multiple acknowledged works of literature) is the first step to his being a tragic hero. Charles attempts to shadow his father's achievements as he labors as a mentor at Columbia training to conquest for his father when he retires. Alas, Van Doren believes that he falls short in character in comparison to his family in terms of success. At this moment in time, he judges that he should have achieved a sufficient amount to the extent that people would not seek to refer to him as “the son” but rather refer to him by his own identity. Van Doren evidently does not recognize how privileged his existence is in contrast to the majority of America’s citizens; that he remains far more triumphant than any...
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