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Oedipus Rex - Aristotle's Tragedy

Aristotle's version of tragedy in 6 points

Jeremy Shaner

on 3 March 2014

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Transcript of Oedipus Rex - Aristotle's Tragedy

Aristotle's 6 elements of tragedy
Oedipus Rex by Sophocles
1. Plot
Aristotle says tragedy must:
Most important of the 6 elements of tragedy.
"All human happiness or misery takes the form of action...it is in our actions - what we do - that makes us happy or miserable."

Unity of plot
- events must be structurally self-contained..

Good plots have
- the change in the state of things from the beginning of a work to its end - &/ or
- the change from ignorance to knowledge, usually in the tragic hero.

best tragedies center on a good man who moves from happiness to misery
because of a great error.

involves a horrible or evil deed that the tragic hero does
out of ignorance
, or
meditatively (makes it easy for the event to happen).
This deed should be done to someone important to the hero, such as a family member.
Characters should have 4 main qualities:
1. No matter who he or she, the
character must be good in some way
2. The character should
act appropriately to his or her station in life.
3. Characters must have
believable personalities
4. Character must be
- avoid being "out of character."
The power of saying what
could be or should be said at each moment in a play
. The dialogue should make sense in accordance with the characters.
refers to music that sometimes accompanies play.
The music must blend appropriately with the play

is how the play is staged. Play's
staging should be appropriate to its theme.
Melody & Spectacle
1. deal with one serious, important issue, such as death.
2. be easy to listen to and understand.
3. be in dramatic form.
4. make the audience feel pity or fear for the tragic hero.
5. cause
catharsis - a release of emotion, usually at the time of the tragic hero's fall
- in the audience.
How the lines are said and composed.
Good plays are written in language that the audience can quote when it leaves.
Wait! What does all of this have to do with Oedipus Rex?
Oedipus is the tragedy Aristotle uses as a primary example of his view of tragedy.
Full transcript