Aristotle's rules for tragedy

Topics: Tragedy, Sophocles, Poetics Pages: 4 (1321 words) Published: November 7, 2013
 Aristotle was one of the most intelligent philosophers in ancient Greece. In his work ‘poetics’ he defined the rules that need to be followed to write an impactful tragedy drama. He defined the characteristics that are required in a powerful drama. The six constituents needed to be present in a tragedy are Plot, Character, Thought, Spectacle, Song and Diction. Sophocles is a Greek dramatist who wrote tragedy plays. Sophocles’ play Oedipus the King is tale of a mythological character called Oedipus who is a king of high morals. He wronged his parents without knowing their identity and he later paid the price for his sins. In this thesis I will discuss the first two constituents of Greek tragedy, that is, Plot and Characters. Aristotle’s Poetics illustrates a protagonist whose reversal of fortune emerges out of discovery which leads to his sufferings; In Sophocles’ play Oedipus discovers his true identity and pays for his wrong-doings in the past. Aristotle states that the protagonist should be a person of high stature so his falls brings about feelings of pity and fear; Oedipus is a king with high morals but the errors he commits unknowingly cause the demolition of his stature.

Aristotle characterizes plot as one of the most essential factor determining the power of a Greek tragic drama. He mentions that the unity of plot should be maintained throughout the play. Incidents that have no relevance or connection to the main plot should be avoided and left out of the plot. Only incidents which’s absence make a drastic impact on the storyline should be included since those are vital to the tragedy. Aristotle also clarifies that the plot should be of reasonable length so that the audience does not have any difficulty to remember it or to follow the storyline. Peripeteia or reversal of fortune is a change that leads to a drastic turn in chain of events, often resulting in opposite situation of what was expected. The events then occur in opposite sequence of what the...
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