He determines that tragedy, like all poetry, is a kind of imitation mimesisbut adds that it has a serious purpose and uses direct action rather than narrative to achieve its ends. 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. This catharsis is brought about by witnessing some disastrous and moving change in the fortunes of the drama's protagonist Aristotle recognized that the change might not be disastrous, but felt this was the kind shown in the best tragedies — Oedipus at Colonus, for example, was considered a tragedy by the Greeks but does not have an unhappy ending. According to Aristotle, tragedy has six main elements:
But the more I researched good writing, the more I felt I was reading a lot of contemporary how-to and getting very little of the timeless basics of how to produce outstanding writing. Aristotle believed that unchanging universal laws underlie all literature. The Poetics focuses on tragic literature, but I think we can all learn from his tips for outstanding plot construction and character development.
So are the laws that Aristotle identified still valid today? Scholars argue it, but I think they are. We as writers can learn much about our craft from the Poetics. My goal here is to extract lessons we can take from the Poetics about how to write the highest quality tragic fiction. You can read the Poetics and other Aristotelian works here Project Gutenberg or here Tufts University or in many other places on the web.
1 Aristotle’s Theory of Tragedy poems, Aristotle saw this as one of Homer’s Tragedy in the Poetics Tragedy is the greatest virtues; while Plato thought tragedy principal subject of Aristotle’s Poetics and its has a harmful effect on the soul in that it feeds most discussed topic. sang their part. Aristotle said that the language should be easy to listen to. It should have rhythm and also good harmony for the lines that were sung. 3. “in a dramatic rather than narrative form;” To narrate a story is simply to tell the story, like telling a friend what happened over the weekend. In a play, the storymust be dramatized or acted out. Oedipus and Aristotle In his Poetics, Aristotle outlined the ingredients necessary for a good tragedy, and based his formula on what he considered to be the perfect tragedy, Sophocles's Oedipusthe King.
During his research into tragic literature, which involved reading and attending hundreds if not thousands of tragic plays, Aristotle relied on his scientific nature to identify patterns and draw conclusions, observing what elements of drama had the most powerful effect on audiences and analyzing why that was so.
In his analysis, the plot is by far the most important component. Although some scholars say diction has to do with how the actor delivers the lines, as I read Aristotle, he clearly seems to be saying it has to do with the flow of the language, which involves rhythm and harmony.
This is discussed in much more detail in my much longer paper available simply by emailing me at the address below. It should deal in universal and general truths and principles such as choice, fate, or the nature of being human.
As one scholar said, inspiring fear without pity produces a horror story, and eliciting pity without fear is essentially a tear-jerker.
Both genres have a place in the continuum of literature, but if the goal is to write a good drama then pity and fear must both be present.
What we pity in others we fear for ourselves, Aristotle says. An outstanding tragedian will lift that moment of insight into an experience of wonder, Aristotle says. A Plausible Sequence of Actions Because Aristotle considered plot the most important component of a tragedy, he had a lot to say about it.
Plot falls into two major parts: Action supersedes narration, and the actions must follow one another through necessity or at least probability. Aristotle says a plot is most effective when the actions are both unexpected and logical.
Achieve unity of plot, meaning that the action must revolve around a central theme. At least one major scene of suffering should be included, probably at the climax, since suffering is an essential part of a tragic story.
The scene should again be action based, showing a destructive or painful event. The climax should be logical but unexpected, casting a whole new light on the story, and clarifying the universal truth central to it. Reversal means the point in a story when things go from good to bad or vice versa.
Recognition is when a character is suddenly recognized, or identifies for the first time something important about him-or herself. Both turn upon the element of surprise, and they can work together in one set of actions.
One scholar says the proper order is to have a reversal that leads directly to a recognition that immediately leads to the climax, which should be the final scene of suffering.
Catharsis offers release to an emotionally pent-up audience. Catharsis is discussed in more detail in my paper. A diagram of Oedipus Plot of Oedipus the King uses the play to illustrate how it works. Character Creation Creating believable characters is the second most important element of writing a good tragedy, according to Aristotle.
The hero should be an average person—neither good nor evil—who goes from prosperity to adversity. His or her behavior should be necessary to the plot. Authentic human nature must be evident in each character for him or her to be believable.
Further, characters should have realistic flaws that, though blameworthy, are understandable due to mitigating factors. Errors of judgment or understanding; flaws that the character compensators for, or hides or runs away from—these eventually catch up with him or her.This is a popular form of Indian classical drama, meaning literally "story play," it is an intensive all night outdoor theatre event designated to evoke mystery and fear.
Kathakall The American Minstrel Show was performed with black actors putting on black face. In his Poetics, Aristotle outlined the ingredients necessary for a good tragedy, and he based his formula on what he considered to be the perfect tragedy, Sophocles's Oedipus the King. According to Aristotle, a tragedy must be an imitation of life in the form of a serious story that is comp.
Aristotle defines poetry very broadly, including epic poetry, tragedy, comedy, dithyrambic poetry, and even some kinds of music. According to Aristotle, tragedy came from the efforts of poets to present men as 'nobler,' or 'better' than they are in real life. In his Poetics, Aristotle outlined the ingredients necessary for a good tragedy, and based his formula on what he considered to be the perfect tragedy, Sophocles's Oedipus the King.
According to Aristotle, a tragedy must be an imitation of life in the form of a serious story that is complete in itself; in other words, the story must be. Particularly significant is his statement that the plot is the most important element of tragedy: Tragedy is an imitation, not of men, but of action and life, of happiness and misery.
And life consists of action, and its end is a mode of activity, not a quality. According to Aristotle, a tragedy must be an imitation of life in the form of a serious story that is complete in itself; in other words, the story must be realistic and narrow in focus.
A good tragedy will evoke pity and fear in its viewers, causing the viewers to experience a feeling of catharsis.