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Greek Tragedy - Terms to Know from Aristotle's Poetics

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Alee Cotton

on 16 September 2015

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Transcript of Greek Tragedy - Terms to Know from Aristotle's Poetics

Greek Tragedy - Terms to Know from Aristotle's

Mimesis, Catharsis, and Hamartia
Mimesis - imitation
In drama, this is the use of direct action rather than narrative.
The playwright attempts to imitate life.
Catharsis - cleansing
Drama meant to arouse sensations of pity and fear in audience members before cleansing them of these emotions so they are left feeling uplifted with a better understanding of the ways of gods and man.
Hamartia - an error of judgment or frailty
The hero may take missteps that bring about his downfall, but in a more sophisticated sense his fate is due to the cosmic moral order (free from wickedness and vice)
Hubris, Anagorisis, Peripeteia, and Sophrosyne
Hubris - excessive pride
Hubris is an example of hamartia.
The moment when the protagonist realizes his true identity or the true nature of his situation.
A reversal or downfall of the hero's fortune or position
Modesty, temperance, or awareness of one's limitations
This was vital in ancient Greek society to understand man's role vs. the role of the gods.
Sophrosyne is the opposite of hubris
Eusebia, Phronesis, and Logos
Eusebia - reverence
This is attained when one attains sophrosyne
Phronesis - wisdom
This ultimately occurs after one has reached sophrosyne, then reverence, and then an understanding of the universe and one's place in it
Logos - obeyed law
Suggests balance, rhythm, and pattern in human affairs.
There is a world order even though humans can't see it.
Quiz the person next to you on the meaning of these terms.

You will need to identify them within
Oedipus Rex
as we read.
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