When it comes to the art of tragedy, many philosophers have tried to define what makes something perfectly tragic. One such person is the well-renowned Greek philosopher Aristotle who felt that every successful Tragedy has six main parts: Plot, Characters, Diction, Thought, Spectacle, and Melody. Although Aristotle points out that Character and Spectacle can occasionally be left out, these six parts are the fundamentals to a good tragedy that he focuses on. While reflecting on these six pieces of a tragedy and pondering how they could be related to any movies in our era and one stuck out above the rest; Gladiator. The movie Gladiator, which debuted in the year 2000, follows the fall and rise of General Maximus as he is thrown into chains after being betrayed by the new emperor Commodus. Despite the fact that this movie chronicles fictional events of the Roman Empire, there are numerous aspects of this movie that parallel Aristotle’s view of what makes a good Greek Tragedy.
Before comparing Gladiator to Aristotle’s six parts of a Greek Tragedy, it is important to make sure that the movie follows his definition of a tragedy first. First off, Aristotle defines tragedy as having the imitation of an action but not of character which is evident in the movie because the character and moral virtues that each individual holds is of little relevance in comparison to their actions; it is in the actions of the actors and how well they can imitate their real life counter-part that really conveys the emotions. Next Aristotle says that a Tragedy must be serious in order to keep it from being mistaken as a Comedy and even though Gladiator does have a few comedic jests, from the beginning scene of Maximus fighting off the Barbarians until the moment his body hits the stadium floor the underlying tone of the entire film is still serious. The movie is also in the form of an action rather than a narrative because there is a continuous flow to the story and...
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