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Aristotle on Tragedy and the Three Unities

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Leo Lei

on 9 April 2013

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Transcript of Aristotle on Tragedy and the Three Unities

Theory of Tragedy and
The Three Unites Aristotle Who was Aritotle? Aristotle was an acclaimed and influential Greek philosopher, scientist, and educator.
He was a student of Plato who was also a famous philosopher as well as a mathematician.
He was born in 384 B.C.E. in Macedonia, Greece.
At 18, Aristotle joined Plato's Academy as a student; he would go on to become a teacher, and would remain there for the next 19 years.
He tutored Alexander the Great and was a great influence to George Washington and many of the founding fathers.
He died in between the ages of 61 and 62. Aristotle’s Definition of Tragedy. “A tragedy is the imitation of an action that is serious and also, as having magnitude, complete in itself; in appropriate and pleasurable language; in a dramatic rather than narrative form; with incidents arousing pity and fear, wherewith to accomplish a catharsis of these emotions.” The 5 Basic Concepts Aristotle Plato What is Tragedy? (According to Aristotle) The search for ideal forms led Aristotle to explore many subjects.
His analysis of the ideal form of tragic plays became a guideline for later playwrights in Western civilization.
For centuries, European playwrights like William Shakespeare tried to write plays that would match the ideals of Aristotle’s model.
The Greeks believed that tragedy was the highest form of drama, and Aristotle’s ideas about tragedy were based on this belief. 1. The plot must have a clearly probable or inevitable connection with each other. This connection is best when it is believable but unexpected. Tragedies should not be divided into separate or tenuously related parts or sections (episodic). 2. Suffering (some fatal or painful action) must also to be introduced/included in a tragic plot which, preferably, should end unhappily. 3. The pity and fear which a tragedy invokes, should come from the events, the actions, not from the mere sight of something on stage. 4. As the play moves along, the events should build up the emotions of pity and fear. A catharsis is a purging, or cleansing of the emotions - a release of tension. In a tragedy, this is often a moment of revelation when the tragic hero “falls flat on his face,” and the audience can finally “explode.” 1) Purification of the audience's feelings of pity and fear so that in real life we understand better whether we should feel them. 2) Purgation of our pity and fear so that we can face life with less of these emotions or more control over them. 3) Purification of the events of the plot, so that the central character's errors or transgressions become 'cleansed' by his or her recognitions and suffering. 5. Complex plots are better than simple plots. Complex plots have recognitions and reversals. A recognition is a change from ignorance to knowledge, especially when the new knowledge identifies some unknown relative or dear one whom the hero should cherish but was about to harm or has just harmed. http://www.wisegeek.org/who-was-aristotle.htm



http://www.paredes.us/tragedy.html The 3 Unites What are they and
what do they mean? What are unities? The unities are are rules for
drama derived from a passage
in Aristotle's Poetics. The
commendments, if you will, of
the structural integrety of plays. 1. Place. The setting of the play
should be one location but the stage
should not represent more
than one place. 2. Time. The action of the play should represent the passage of no more than one day (within
24 hours). 3. Action: A play should have one main action (plot) that it follows, with no or few subplots. The classical unities were influential in dramatic criticism until Victor Hugo's Hernani (1830 Dramatic Play); one of the things that made that play so controversial at its debut was its violation of these rules. Aristotle was a controversial
man of ancient Greece, with his
contributions to the forms of
literature and arts we see as well as the influence of history's most illustrious and remarkable leaders and playwrights. By Leo Lei It followed the unities (rules).
Of only the occurance of one day
The scene remains the same throughout the play
No subplots
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