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Shakespearean Tragedies

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Durka Sivalingam

on 14 April 2013

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Transcript of Shakespearean Tragedies

Shakespearean Tragedies Elements of Tragedy What is "Tragedy"? - It is a form of drama that involves a main character suffering or bought to ruin - concerned with one person: Tragic Hero
- hero undergoes sudden reversal of fortune
- has an unhappy ending
- usually a consequence of a person's tragic flaw, moral weakness, or an inability to cope with bad situation
- has a purpose or meaning
- lesson learned from events
- moves audience to pity+fear
- supernatural elements can often be introduced - many people thought Shakespeare used Aristotle's model for tragedies but he didn't really use
Aristotelian Tragedy
- begins with tragic hero/protagonist: someone with importance
- hero has flaws like hubris (pride that causes one to ignore morals--exaggerated flaws)
- flaws appear in the humiliation, defeat, or death of protagonist
- plays ends in catharsis (audience losing their feelings of anxiety and fear reaching a sense of completion)
- follows classic unities of time and place Aristotelian Tragedy Shakespearean Tragedies Mind Tragedies
- Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth
- tragic hero with tragic flaw
- tragic flaws more real than Aristotelian tragedy
- complicated plot-->sub plots ( to make the play
more real and meaningful)
- did not end with sense that everything is finished The main features of a Shakespearean Tragedy macbeth The fatal flaw. Shakespeare’s tragic heroes are all fundamentally flawed. It is this weakness that ultimately leads to their downfall.

The bigger they are, the harder they fall. The Shakespeare tragedies often focus on the fall of a nobleman. By presenting the audience with a man with excessive wealth or power, his eventual downfall fall is all the more tragic.

External pressures. Shakespeare’s tragic heroes often fall victim to external pressures. Fate, evil spirits and manipulative characters all play a hand in the hero’s downfall.

Ends in death. Heart Tragedies
- Romeo and Juliet
- follows a man and women deeply in love
- love is attacked by external forces
- ends with either death or permanent separation of lovers Tragedies Shakespeare's tragedies followed a specific definition of tragedy: There must be a noble hero with a tragic flaw and that flaw leads to his downfall. Characteristic #1 : In every Shakespearean tragedy, there is a noble hero. This person is the main character in the story and the center of most of the action that takes place. The noble hero can be thought of as the protagonist in the story. The Tragic Flaw All of Shakespeare's noble heroes have one thing in common: they all have one or more tragic flaws. The tragic flaw is also called the hamartia. For example, King Lear's tragic flaw is he gives property to his daughters. Hamlet's tragic flaw was his delay to take action (procrastination). Characteristic #2: This tragic flaw is what leads to the
downfall (usually death) of the noble hero. Supernatural Elements In Shakespeare's time there was a strong
belief in the existence of supernatural forces, such as witches, sorcerers, fairies, ghosts, spirits etc. Because of this strong belief, Shakespeare often incorporated supernatural elements in his plays. These supernatural elements usually play a big role in Shakespeare's stories. They contribute to the downfall of the protagonist - but do not directly cause it. They are just a catalyst for the outcome. These supernatural elements are not just creations of the hero's mind, but actual forces acting in the play. Other people would also be able to see or feel these elements. For example, a supernatural element in Hamlet is Hamlet's father's ghost. The conversation between Hamlet and his father's ghost provided a start for Hamlet's actions later on, but did not create the actions themselves. Characteristic #3: Death In all of Shakespeare's tragedies, the
main character (the noble hero) dies. Antony and Cleopatra Hamlet Othello Romeo and Juliet King Lear
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