What Defines Tragedy? By d.j da
Where does tragedy come from? • The Greek philosopher Aristotle first defined tragedy in his book Poetics written in about 330 BC
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
The Sullied Hero • The sullied hero is initially not someone we, as an audience, look up to—someone who because of a flaw is considered inferior in some way. • It is this fallibility that makes us identify with him/her
Tragic Flaw • The tragic 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. • The notion of Hubris--Hubris (also hybris) means extreme haughtiness or arrogance. Hubris often indicates a loss of touch with reality and overestimating one's own competence or capabilities, especially for people in positions of power.
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!