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What Defines Tragedy?

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What Defines Tragedy?

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What Defines Tragedy?

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  1. What Defines Tragedy? • Articulate the relationship between the expressed purposes and the characteristics of different forms of dramatic literature (e.g., comedy, tragedy, drama, dramatic monologue).

  2. Where does tragedy come from? • The Greek philosopher Aristotle first defined tragedy in his book Poetics written in about 330 BCE

  3. Aristotle’sdefinition of tragedy had SIX parts: • Plot • Character • Thought • Diction • Spectacle • Melody

  4. What Defines Shakespearean Tragedy? • A Tragic Hero • The Tragic Flaw-Hamartia • Reversal of Fortune • Catharsis • Restoration of Social Order –Denouement

  5. 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

  6. Tragic Flaw • The hero is nearly perfect- • The hero has one flaw or weakness • We call this the ‘tragic flaw’, ‘fatal flaw’, or hamartia.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. This is why we cry during movies!

  10. Restoration of Social Order • Tragedies include a private and a public element • The play cannot end until society is, once again, at peace.

  11. The End Do Your Homework!