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Aristotle's Tragedy and Tragic Hero

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Bess Futrell

on 23 August 2013

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Transcript of Aristotle's Tragedy and Tragic Hero

Aristotle on Tragedy
The Plot
Contains a beginning, middle, and end.
Unity of time and place
reversal of the situation
oppostie of what is planned actually occurs
single location
Could realistically take place in the amount of the time of the play itself
recognition of the truth
Main character realizes the truth of his/her situation
Tragic Hero
A good person
Downfall caused by hamartia (tragic flaw)
Start with an elevated status and end with nothing (tragic downfall)
The Audience
Feels pity and fear for the main character
Experiences a catharsis - cleansing of the emotions, a release of tension as the tragic hero falls


The Audience
Tragic Hero
Oedipus Rex by Sophocles
Literary Contexts
People, Places, and History
Dramatic and Situational Irony
Thebes, Greece
Oedipus Complex
Oracle of Delphi
(cc) photo by theaucitron on Flickr
(cc) photo by theaucitron on Flickr
Most important oracle in Greece
Shrine to the god Apollo
People consulted the Oracle on everything from important matters of public policy to personal matters
"It is the fate of us all, perhaps, to direct our first sexual impulse towards our mother and our first hatred and murderous wish against our father. Our dreams convince us this is so."
-Sigmunnd Freud, The Interpretation of Dreams
Sight and blindness
Fate vs. Free Will
Knowledge vs. Ignorance
Light and darkness
Know the defintions of all these terms and be able to apply them to Oedipus Rex
Full transcript