Topics: Macbeth, Poetry, Theatre Pages: 4 (1366 words) Published: December 8, 2013
The play Macbeth by William Shakespeare is a perfect example of Aristotelian tragedy. An Aristotelian tragedy must meet seven qualities defined by Aristotle. The seven qualities in Aristotelian tragedy are plot, character, thought, diction, song or melody, spectacle, and katharsis. Plot is the main story line. Character is about the characters and their personality. Thought is about how the character's personality is revealed. Diction is the use of figurative language. Song or melody is about the rhyming and the actual music, if there is any. Spectacle is about arousing emotions in the audience. Katharsis is about cleansing these emotions brought about by the play before the crowd leaves. The play Macbeth demonstrates all seven qualities in a nearly perfect manner. The first quality Aristotle said was needed for a tragedy is plot. He said the plot must clearly have a beginning middle and end, and each action should move from one to the next with no outside intervention. Aristotle also said that the plot needs to be of a certain length, but not so long that the play loses its meaning. Another thing Aristotle said was that the play could either be simple, which only has a change of fortune, or complex, which he said is better and needs to have recognition of the change in fortune. In Macbeth a change of fortune is shown when the witches say, "Thou shalt get kings, though thou be none/So all hail, Macbeth and Banquo!" (I,iii, 68-69). This is showing a change of fortune, through Macbeth not being a king, but soon becoming one. This shows that Shakespeare knew how to write a plot. Character is the second element of an Aristotelian tragedy. Aristotle said that the protagonist should be renowned and prosperous, and the change of fortune should be from good to bad. Characters in the tragedy should be of the upper class. They also need fitness of character, for example a warrior should be brave. The characters should be realistic, and their personality and motivations...
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