Shakespeare Tragedy

Topics: Romeo and Juliet, Drama, Tragedy Pages: 3 (856 words) Published: November 9, 2011
1a. Identify in Romeo and Juliet one element that does not fit in with Aristotle’s theory of tragedy in the Poetics. According to the Aristotle in ’s theory of tragedy in the Poetics, tragedy is the “imitation of an action“[1](mimesis) according to “the law of probability or necessity. “[2] Hence, the length of a play should be perceived as probable in the reality. The theory insists the ascertainment of an action could have happened in such and such a time during the play.[3] However in Romeo and Juliet, the whole story takes spans of 4 to 6 days and the play only happens within takes approximately 2 hours. The huge gap in time challenges the audience’s sense of which is impossible in the reality. In Shakespeare’s day, plays were often performed at noon in broad daylight. This forced the playwright to use words to create the illusion of day and night in his plays. Shakespeare uses references to the night and day, the stars, the moon, and the sun to create this illusion. There are no fewer than 103 references to time are found in the play, adding to the illusion of its passage. [4]Hence, the unity of time in Romeo and Juliet doesn’t fit in Aristotle’s theory. b. Following your answer to (a), do you agree with Herder that Romeo and Juliet is a great drama precisely because it does not follow straightly the rules established by Aristotle on drama and tragedy? According to the lecture entitled “Shakespeare” by the Johann Gottfried Herder, “Not a single one of Shakespeare’s plays would be a Greek Tragedy, Comedy, Pastoral, nor should it be…” It implies Shakespeare’s plays are totally differentnot comparable with from the one in Greek dramas, which Aristotle is much clearly adoredd by Aristotle. Though Shakespeares’ doesn’t follow straightly the rules, I do agree with Herder that Romeo and Juliet is a great drama because of that. Following the answer in part (a), the time in Shakespeare doesn’t follow the theory by Aristotle though., he Shakespeare uses so...
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