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Tragedy and Proper Structure of the Plot

Jun 24, 2008 664 Words
In part 7, the aim is to arrange and length of the play. Most important and the first thing in Tragedy is proper structure of the Plot. Tragedy is an imitation of an action that is complete in it and whole of a certain magnitude. A whole has beginning, middle and end. A well-construed plot must neither begin nor end randomly. Plot cannot either begin or end at any point. A beautiful object that is certain living organism or any whole composed of parts must not only present a certain order in its arrangement. A very small animal cannot be beautiful because its view will confuse us or it gives no sense to us. A vast size of animal also cannot be beautiful because our eye is not enough to capture it. It should be some size that taken in by eye. A Plot should be like; its length should be taken in by the memory. According to the law of probability or necessity will admit of a change from bad fortune to good or from good to bad.

Unity of a plot does not consist of the unity of hero. Some persons think in one man’s life there are various incidents which cannot reduce unity. There are many actions in a man’s life which cannot be made into one action. As Hercules was a man therefore his stories must be a unity but when Homer wrote Odyssey he did not include all the adventures. As the plot is the imitation of an action, it must imitate one action not a whole. If a part of an action is displaced or removed, the whole will be disjointed or disturbed.

In part 9, the poet must depict the probable and the universal. It is obvious from what we have said it will be seen that the poet’s function is to describe not the thing that has happened but what may happen, what is possible according to the law of probability or necessity. The poet and the historian are different from each other by writing in verse or in prose. Poetry is something more philosophic and of graver important than history. Poetry tends to express the universal, a history the particular. By a universal statement, we mean such a kind of man will probably or necessarily say or do. The poet first constructs the plot on the lines of probability and then inserts characteristic names unlike the lampooners who write about particular individuals. Tragedians keep to real names. This is because what is possible is credible, what has not happened we do not at once feel sure to be possible but what has happened is manifestly possible. In Tragedy there are some plays with but one or two known names in them. The rest being inventions. E.g.: Agthor’s Antheus. The poet must be more the poet of his stories or plots than on his verses.

There are 2 types of Plots. One of them is Simple Plots and other is Complex Plots. A simple action is action, which is one, and continuous in the sense above defined. In complex actions, change is accompanied by such Reversal or by Recognition or by both.

Peripety, Discovery and Suffering are expressed in part 11. Reversal of the situations is a change by which the actions just turned to opposite. Subject always to our rule of probability or necessity. For instance; In Oedipus the opposite state of things is produced by the messenger. The messenger comes to cheer Oedipus and free him form his alarms about his mother but by revealing his identify he makes the opposite effect. Recognition is a change from ignorance to knowledge. Either love or hate in the personages marked for good and bad fortune. Recognition of persons is closely connected with the plot. This recognition will produce either pity or fear. Tragic situations are the issues of good and bad fortune. The parts of the plot are reversal of the situations, recognition and suffering.

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