What is Aristotle's theory of tragedy?

Asked By: Nadi Mballo | Last Updated: 20th April, 2020
Category: family and relationships bereavement
4.6/5 (543 Views . 25 Votes)
Greek Theory of Tragedy: Aristotle's Poetics. The classic discussion of Greek tragedy is Aristotle's Poetics. He defines tragedy as "the imitation of an action that is serious and also as having magnitude, complete in itself." He continues, "Tragedy is a form of drama exciting the emotions of pity and fear.

Click to see full answer


Also know, what does Aristotle's definition of tragedy mean?

Tragedy,” says Aristotle, “is an imitation [mimēsis] of an action that is serious, complete, and of a certain magnitude…through pity and fear effecting the proper purgation [catharsis] of these emotions.” Ambiguous means may be employed, Aristotle maintains in contrast to Plato, to a virtuous and purifying end.

Beside above, what are Aristotle's rules of tragedy? Aristotle divides tragedy into six different parts, ranking them in order from most important to least important as follows: (1) mythos, or plot, (2) character, (3) thought, (4) diction, (5) melody, and (6) spectacle. The first essential to creating a good tragedy is that it should maintain unity of plot.

Accordingly, what are Aristotle's 6 elements of tragedy?

He asserts that any tragedy can be divided into six constituent parts. They are: Plot, Character, Thought, Diction, Song and Spectacle. The Plot is the most important part of a tragedy. The plot means 'the arrangement of the incidents'.

What is more important in a tragedy according to Aristotle?

Plot is the most important part of tragedy. It is more important than character. Tragedy, Aristotle says, is an imitation of life and of actions, not of people. Aristotle divides the dramatic narrative into two parts, story and plot.

28 Related Question Answers Found

What are the types of tragedy?

  • Domestic tragedy.
  • Tragicomedy.
  • Unities.
  • Senecan tragedy.
  • Hamartia.
  • Revenge tragedy.
  • Catharsis.
  • Heroic play.

What is the concept of tragedy?

Tragedy is an imitation of an action that is admirable, complete (composed of an introduction, a middle part and an ending), and possesses magnitude; in language made pleasurable, each of its species separated in different parts; performed by actors, not through narration; effecting through pity and fear the

What are the characteristics of tragedy?

Tragedy is a serious play or drama typically dealing with the problems of a central character, leading to an unhappy or disastrous ending brought on, as in ancient drama, by fate and a tragic flaw in this character, or, in modern drama, usually by moral weakness, psychological maladjustment, or social pressures.”

What is the purpose of tragedy?

In the Poetics, Aristotle wrote that the purpose of Tragedy is to evoke a wonder born of pity and fear, the result of which is cathartic. As audience members we should sympathize with the protagonist, possibly recognizing in him/her our own human weaknesses.

What is the goal of tragedy according to Aristotle?


The aim of tragedy, Aristotle writes, is to bring about a "catharsis" of the spectators — to arouse in them sensations of pity and fear, and to purge them of these emotions so that they leave the theater feeling cleansed and uplifted, with a heightened understanding of the ways of gods and men.

What are the three unities?

Unities, in drama, the three principles derived by French classicists from Aristotle's Poetics; they require a play to have a single action represented as occurring in a single place and within the course of a day. These principles were called, respectively, unity of action, unity of place, and unity of time.

What is Aristotle's comedy?

Aristotle defined comedy as an imitation of men worse than the average (where tragedy was an imitation of men better than the average). They disassociated comedy from Greek dramatic representation and instead identified it with Arabic poetic themes and forms, such as hija (satirical poetry).

What is mimesis according to Aristotle?

Mimesis is a Greek term that means imitation. The first step in understanding Aristotle's account of mimesis is remembering that he spent many years studying at Plato's Academy. Art (whether poetry or painting), in imitating the phenomena, is thus merely an imitation of an imitation.

What are 3 rules that Greek tragedy must follow?

These three rules suggest that a tragedy have unity of place, time and action: Place. The setting of the play should be one location (Oedipus Rex takes place on the steps outside the palace).

What is Aristotle's definition of a tragic hero?


Tragic hero as defined by Aristotle. A tragic hero is a literary character who makes a judgment error that inevitably leads to his/her own destruction. In reading Antigone, Medea and Hamlet, look at the role of justice and/or revenge and its influence on each character's choices when analyzing any “judgment error.”

What makes a tragedy a tragedy?

a. A drama or literary work in which the main character is brought to ruin or suffers extreme sorrow, especially as a consequence of a tragic flaw, moral weakness, or inability to cope with unfavorable circumstances.

What did Aristotle mean by catharsis?

Catharsis, the purification or purgation of the emotions (especially pity and fear) primarily through art. In criticism, catharsis is a metaphor used by Aristotle in the Poetics to describe the effects of true tragedy on the spectator. Tragedy then has a healthful and humanizing effect on the spectator or reader.

How Hamlet is a tragedy?

Hamlet is a revenge tragedy written in the line of Roman Senecan tragedy. It is the tragedy of reflection and moral sensitivity. Hamlet's father has been murdered by his uncle and his mother marries the criminal after her husband's death. As suggested by the ghost Hamlet has to take revenge on his father's murderer.

What do good tragedies have in common?

Some of the most common elements in Shakespearean tragedies are: The fatal flaw - all of the heroes in Shakespeare's tragedies have a weakness in personality that eventually leads to their downfall.

How is Oedipus a tragedy?


Oedipus Rex as a Classical Tragedy. Oedipus Rex is a typical classical tragedy because it has the element of tragic setting, atmosphere and mood, tragic character with tragic hamartia, tragic plot design moving to tragic disintegration, and therefore the tragic realization by the character and audience.

What are the 10 elements of drama?

All the elements of drama combine to make a good production. They are all important. Some demonstrate more of one element than others. Script ? Plot ? Character ? Story Organization ? Setting ? Dialogue ? Monologue ? Conflict 9 Page 10 Literary Elements ? Script?

What is modern tragedy?

Modern tragedy refers to the tragedies that were written and performed from the twentieth century. This tragedy redefines the genre with ordinary protagonists, multiple plots, and realistic timelines and settings. The characters of modern tragedy are mainly from the middle class.