What Defines Tragedy? • 3.1 Articulate the relationship between the expressed purposes and the characteristics of different forms of dramatic literature (e.g., comedy, tragedy, drama, dramatic monologue). By Tod BarnsJohn Swett High School, Crockett High School
Where does tragedy come from? • The Greek philosopher Aristotle first defined tragedy in his book Poetics written in about 330 BCE
Aristotle’sdefinition of tragedy had SIX parts: • Plot • Character • Thought • Diction • Spectacle • Melody
What Defines Shakespearean Tragedy? • A Tragic Hero • The Tragic Flaw-Hamartia • Reversal of Fortune • Catharsis • Restoration of Social Order –Denouement
The Tragic Hero • The tragic hero is someone we, as an audience, look up to—someone superior. • The tragic hero is nearly perfect, and we identify with him/her
Tragic Flaw • The hero is nearly perfect- • The hero has one flaw or weakness • We call this the ‘tragic flaw’, ‘fatal flaw’, or hamartia.
Reversal of Fortune • The ‘fatal flaw’ brings the hero down from his/her elevated state. • Renaissance audiences were familiar with the ‘wheel of fortune’ or ‘fickle fate’. • What goes up, must come down.
Catharsis • We get the word ‘catharsis’ from Aristotle’s katharsis. • ‘Catharsis’ is the audience’s purging of emotions through pity and fear. • The spectator is purged as a result of watching the hero fall.
Restoration of Social Order • Tragedies include a private and a public element • The play cannot end until society is, once again, at peace.
The End Do Your Homework!