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Tragedy as Literary Genre

Categories Aristotle, Character, Literary Genre, Literature, Tragic Hero

Essay, Pages 3 (600 words)

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Essay, Pages 3 (600 words)

Catastrophe is a dramatic genre where which the hero has a hard time in the face of a fantastic trial just to be beat in the end. The defeat, however, is viewed as a victory instead of a loss because the focus ought to be on the quality of the struggle not completion, and the purpose of an effective disaster is to touch the audience and make them empathize with the main character’s fall under anguish or death.

Aristotle specifies classical Greek tragedy in his work Poetics. According to him, a catastrophe should, initially of all, be a major and intricate piece. Every component of the drama, from plot to character to language, should comply with this quality of stateliness or grandness. The play must likewise elicit fear and pity amongst the audiences due to the fact that just when these are accomplished does the play successfully accomplishes catharsis, another important component of a disaster according to Aristotle. Catharsis takes place when the audience identities with the hero’s failure and while doing so, cleansing and releasing the audience’s own worries and pity.

To even more enhance this particular impact, Aristotle recommends that the plot needs to only happen in a single day. Finally, the downfall of the hero need to be caused by a mistake of some sort– something that is beyond the control of the awful hero.

Like the classical catastrophes, William Shakespeare’s awful plays likewise employ the exact same grandness and severity in language, plot and characters.

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Nevertheless, Shakespeare’s tragedies have jesters in them to offer comic (though still extensive) relief and the plot take place in days or months, with every act representing an episode. Often he has several actions taking place in different places at the same time.

Another is that the tragic Shakespearean hero is himself accountable for his awful end although there is constantly the premonition because the very first act that whatever the hero does, he is fated to pass away in the end. Shakespeare’s skill in character development makes generating catharsis very reliable. Classical disaster highlights action to affect the audience but Shakespeare utilizes effective soliloquies more than action.

A tragic hero is one who experiences a reversal of fortune, usually from good to bad. The downfall is brought about by a mistake not an immoral act or a conscious effort to fight with society. He is thrown into a situation that he does not expect yet he will struggle stubbornly and vigorously to rise above it. It could be a fight against fate or the will of the gods or authorities like the king or church. To make the fall more pronounced and elicit empathy tragic heroes are kings, princes, or persons of rank and their fall is sudden and deep, not through something slow as disease, poverty or vice.

Of the famous literary characters in tragedies, Hamlet stands out as the best exemplification of the tragic hero, both in the classical and Renaissance sense of the term. Hamlet is a prince. He is very intelligent, proud and honorable. To contemplate killing his uncle is against the values he grew up with so that he is torn between doing something socially unacceptable to obeying the request of his father’s ghost.

His actions through out the play are the results of deep internal struggles revealed through his soliloquies. Although it veers from Aristotle’s definition of tragedy as to be plot-driven, Hamlet’s troubled emotions and hesitations expressed in Shakespeare’s exquisite language effectively make the audience identify with the character thus eliciting the cathartic effect that is a primary ingredient in a good tragedy.

Cite this essay

Tragedy as Literary Genre. (2017, Mar 05). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/tragedy-as-literary-genre-essay

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