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.
And in the following chapters he discusses the nature of tragedy and its constituent parts such as plot, character, diction, thought, spectacle and song.
He also draws distinctions between various kind of plots and introduces us to some technical terms namely reversal, discovery and calamity. According to Aristotle tragedy is a representation of an action that is worth serious attention, complete in itself, and of some amplitude. Serious is concerned with important values as opposed to what is slight, trivial, transitory or of the surface.
The action of tragedy must be complete. The action of tragedy must be long enough for the catastrophe to occur and on the other hand short enough to be grasped as a single artistic whole and not like a creature a thousand miles long.
According to Aristotle the language of tragedy should be enriched by a variety of artistic devices appropriate to the several parts of the play. According to Aristotle tragedy should be presented in the form of action, not narration.
He distinguishes tragedy from the epic, because an epic narrates the events and does not represent them through action. According to Aristotle every tragedy has six constituents, which determine its quality.
They are character, plot, diction, thought, spectacle and song. Plot, character and thought are the objects of imitation, diction, and song are the media of imitation and spectacle and song are the manners of imitation in tragedy. Of the six elements, plot stands as the most important element of a tragedy.
To Aristotle the ordered arrangement of the incidents is plot. Plot is the life blood or the soul of a tragedy.
The plot must be of a reasonable length, so that it may be easily held in the memory.
But Aristotle emphasizes on the unity of plot. The plot must be a whole, complete in itself, and of certain length. It should have a beginning, a middle and an end. The various incidents of a plot must be so arranged that if any of them is taken away the effect of wholeness will be seriously disrupted.
Plot of a tragedy may be simple or complex. The simple plot is without peripeteia or discovery and the complex is with peripeteia or discovery.
Aristotle prefers complex plot like the plot of Oedipus Rex, by Sophocles to simple plot. Of all plots, the episodic are worst.Tragic Hero Definition: A tragic hero is a person, usually of noble birth, with heroic or potentially heroic qualities.
This person is doomed by fate, some supernatural force to be destroyed, or endure great suffering. The hero struggles admirably against this fate, but fails because of a flaw or mistake.
Eventually the Aristotelian tragic hero dies a tragic death, having fallen from great heights and having made an irreversible mistake. The hero must courageously accept their death with honour.
Tragic Hero Definition: A tragic hero is a person, usually of noble birth, with heroic or potentially heroic qualities.
This person is doomed by fate, some supernatural force to be destroyed, or endure great suffering. Eventually the Aristotelian tragic hero dies a tragic death, having fallen from great heights and having made an irreversible mistake.
The . Oedipus as an Aristotelian tragic hero Although one might be inclined to express uncertainty concerning the role of Sophocles' Oedipus as a tragic hero (when regarding matters from a general point of view), the character perfectly fits Aristotle's definition of a tragic hero.
Aristotle’s Definition of Tragedy and Tragic Hero in Poetics In chapter 6 of Poetics Aristotle embarks upon the most important subject of Poetics - the tragic drama. And in the following chapters he discusses the nature of tragedy and its constituent parts such as plot, character, diction, thought, spectacle and song.