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Aristotle’s Perfect Tragedy. Ars Poetica or The Poetics. Aristotle. Ancient Greek philosopher who wrote about physics, poetry, biology, zoology, logic, rhetoric, politics, ethics Student of Plato Teacher of Alexander the Great One of the most influential thinkers of all time.

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Aristotle s perfect tragedy

Aristotle’s Perfect Tragedy

Ars Poetica

or

The Poetics


Aristotle
Aristotle

  • Ancient Greek philosopher who wrote about physics, poetry, biology, zoology, logic, rhetoric, politics, ethics

  • Student of Plato

  • Teacher of Alexander the Great

  • One of the most influential thinkers of all time


Why do we care
Why Do We Care?

  • The reason that we study Aristotle’s perfect tragedy is because all literary tragedies are compared to and talked about using Aristotle’s ideas

  • You will need to know this for any future lit class in both high school and college

  • So – Take Notes!


The perfect tragedy
The Perfect Tragedy

  • According to Aristotle, the best example of the perfect tragedy was Oedipus Rex.

  • As we continue, think of how Oedipus Rex meets each of the following requirements.


The three unities
The Three Unities

  • According to Aristotle the perfect tragedy should hold to three unities:

    • Time: the action should take place in 24 hours – ideally it should all be congruous, but 24 hours is ok

    • Place – one location – no set changes

    • Action – just one plot – no sub plots

    • (the mysterious fourth – mood – the entire play should be serious – no comic relief)


The tragic hero
The Tragic Hero

Five Parts

  • Must be a noble King or Ruler (but the audience should be able to identify with the hero)

  • Must have a tragic flaw: The Greek word for tragic flaw is Hamartia

    • Hubris: Pride

  • Downfall must be caused by his own actions as a result of his tragic flaw

  • Must have recognition of his own demise

  • He should die with honor and courage


Oh the insanity
Oh, the Insanity!

  • If the tragedy is done properly, the audience should be moved to a catharsis

  • Catharsis: purging of emotions, especially pity and fear

  • A catharsis should lead to a reinvigorated love of life

See, the cat is scared, you know, fear?…clever, huh?


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