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Group 5 Oral Report David Fasolino, Robert Frick, Dusty Robinson, Hilda Medina, Tamie Thompson, Angie Hambleton. About Aristotle. By Tamiane Thompson. His early years. Aristotle was born in stagria, on the border of Macedonia in 384 bce His mother, Phaestis, was from a family of doctors

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Group 5 Oral Report

David Fasolino, Robert Frick, Dusty Robinson, Hilda Medina, Tamie Thompson, Angie Hambleton


About Aristotle

By Tamiane Thompson


His early years

  • Aristotle was born in stagria, on the border of Macedonia in 384 bce
  • His mother, Phaestis, was from a family of doctors
  • His father Nichomachus was court physician to King Amyntus of macedonia and this began his long association with the macedonia court which influenced his life greatly
  • When he was still a boy his father died

His schooling

  • In 367, at the age of 17 his guardian,proxenus sent him to Athens, the intellectual center of the world, to complete his education
  • He joined the academy and studied under Plato,attending his lectures for 20 years
  • It was in later years that he began to lecture on his own account, especially the subject of rhetoric
  • He was known for saying” He loved the truth more than he loved Plato and so he had no mind to remain a mere disciple”

The years after Plato

  • Plato died in 347
  • Aristotle would have been his rightful succeeded, however his divergence from Plato's teachings made it impossible
  • In 347 Aristotle spent the next four years conducting zoological investigations on the islands of assos and lesbos
  • He was married twice, his second wife Herpyllis bore him a son named,Nichomachus

Back to Athens

  • In 343 he was called to macedonia by King Philip to tutor the king’s son- the future alexander the great
  • Seven years later Aristotle returned to Athens and founded the school Lyceum, which it’s ruins can still be seen today

His teachings

  • Aristotle taught in what later became known as Peripatetics meaning to walk about which he did often as he discoursed
  • He is said to be given two type of lectures one in the morning for a inner circle of advanced students and one in the evening for the general body of lovers of knowledge
  • He taught modern down-to-earth philosphy,biology, politics, and the rules of logic

His writings

  • Aristotle main works are the prior analytics (in which he describes the rules of logic)‏
  • The physics, the animal history, the rhetoric, the poetics, the metaphysics, the nicomachean ethics, and the politics
  • Most of his writings are lost. What remains are his lectures notes, which were rediscovered in the first century and scholars are re-examining the fragments of his lost works.

Aristotle in exile

  • Aristotle connection to Alexander proved a liability in the end and on Alexander’s death in 323 b.c. the Athenians went on a rampage against all who associated with him
  • The pro-Macedonian government was overthrown and he was charged with impiety he fled Athens
  • He fled to Chalcis in Euboea where he quoted “the Athenians sin twice against philosophy referring of course to the unjust trial and death of Socrates”

Aristotle’s death

  • In his first year of his residence at Chalcis he complained of a stomach illness and died in 322 BCE
  • A popular but again highly questionable story says he drowned investigating marine life however no one knows exactly what happened
  • Aristotle’s philosophy, logic, science, metaphysics, ethics, politics, and system of deductive reasoning have been important ever since. In the middle ages, the church used Aristotle to explain its doctrines

Works cited

  • Abbot, Christopher. “Aristotle” online image. Sep 9 2008
  • Gallon's. “Greek philosopher Aristotle”. Online image. October 4 2007. Sep 7 2008
  • Hurtle,Philip. “Aristotle with Plato” online image. March 21 2007. Sept 6 2008 <htttp://>.
  • Partige, Nancy. “Aristotle school” online image. April 3, 2006. Sept 6 2008
  • Netherlors, David. “Alexander the great” online image. November 17 2007. sep 6 2008
  • Ross, Lisa. “aristotle teachings”online image.flicker. September 13 2007 sep 6 2008
  • Seurouik neiumberbach band “Greek music: Liberian antonya greek hero” free download music. Sep 6 2008.
the educated differ from the uneducated as much as the living from the dead
"The educated differ from the uneducated as much as the living from the dead."

Aristotle’s Poetics, written at about 335 BCE, is considered to be the first systematic critical theory in the world. For nearly 2,000 years it has inspired the thoughts of writers, philosophers and critics.

all men by nature desire knowledge
“All men by nature desire knowledge.”

Aristotle identifies tragedy as the most refined version of poetry, among the three genres (Tragedy, Epic, and Comedy)‏

Aristotle’s defines many key literary components such as mimesis (imitation), muthos (plot), anagnorisis (discovery), periperteia (reversal), hamartia (misjudgment), and catharsis (purifying or relieving of emotions).

misfortune shows those who are not really friends
“Misfortune shows those who are not really friends.”

Tragedy ... is an imitation of an action that is serious, complete, and of a certain magnitude; in language embellished with each kind of artistic ornament, the several kinds being found in separate parts of the play; in the form of action, not of narrative; through pity and fear effecting the proper catharsis of these emotions.

dignity consists not in possessing honors but in the consciousness that we deserve them
"Dignity consists not in possessing honors, but in the consciousness that we deserve them."

Poetics was not widely influential during it's time, but during the Age of Enlightenment, Aristotle's views shaped the concept of tragedy.

works cited
Works Cited

Aristotle, Malcolm , and Heath . Poetics. 1st ed. New York: Penguin Group Incorporated, 1997.

Aristotle, and W. Rhys Roberts . Poetics and Rhetoric. 1st ed. New York: Barnes & Noble, 2006.

Waggoner, Ben. "Aristotle." 09 June 1996. UCMP Berkeley. 8 Sep 2008 <>.

"Poetics (Aristotle)." Wikipedia. 2008. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.. September 9 2008 <>.

"Poetics: 1780 Edition." Online Image. Wikisource. No date. September 9 2008 <>.

"Tragedy and Comedy Masks." Online Image. 2007. Sep 9 2008 <>.


Aristotle on Plot

Angie Hambleton


Types of Plot


Unified construct of necessary and probable actions to change future


  • peripeteia or reversal
  • Anagnorsis or recognition

The best way of presenting tragic pleasure


Characteristics of Plot

  • Unity of Action
    • Necessity and probability
  • Unity of Time
    • Time by action understood by audience

Aristotle’s Definition of Plot

“The change of fortune from good to bad should come about as a result, not of vice, but some great error of frailty in character.”


Works Cited


What is a Hero

Aristotle felt that the tragic hero was neither completely good nor completely evil.

This hero will also be able to provoke our pity and fear.


Our hero……

This hero also must have hamartia, which means a fatal flaw.

The most common hamartia in Greek tragedies was pride.


His Character

  • Consistent: Our hero should repeatedly show the same traits through out the play.
  • Lifelike: He should also appear as humanly as possible so we can relate to him.

More on character

  • Good: The hero would have to demonstrate through his speech and actions that he is morally sound.
  • Appropriate: He would also have to maintain society's ideas on social behaviors (men should be manly and so forth).

Our Hero’s Stature

  • The hero was one of moral fiber that behaved nobly.
  • This did not necessarily mean that the person was a king or queen but someone who behaved as one.

Their Outcome

  • Death: Although Aristotle did not fell that the hero should die (because it would provoke ill feelings in the viewers), some of the tragic heroes died.
  • Lesson: Aristotle felt that the best outcome for the tragic hero would be to come out of the tragedy haven realized their error in judgment and gained a life lesson from it.


  • “Aristotle." Defining Tragedy. VCCS Litonline Introduction to Literature. 06 Sept. 2008 <>.
  • Heath, Malcolm, and Malcolm Heath. Poetics. New York: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated, 2004. The Internet Classics. 1994-2000. 06 Sept. 2008 <>.
  • "More Terms Defined." EGallery of Tragic Heroes. The Process. 06 Sept. 2008 <>.
  • Tartar, Stacy. "Aristotle's Tragic Hero." West Chester University. Fall 2001. West Chester University. 06 Sept. 2008 <>.

Catharsis – κάθαρσις

  • Medicine - Purgation, especially for the digestive system.
  • A purifying or figurative cleansing of the emotions, especially pity and fear, described by Aristotle as an effect of tragic drama on its audience.
  • A release of emotional tension, as after an overwhelming experience, that restores or refreshes the spirit.

Ancient κάθαρσις - Lustration

  • Ritual cleansing with water
  • Burnt offerings – purification through smoke
  • Purges individuals or whole cities of crimes

Aristotle's Catharsis

  • Briefly touched on in Poetics
  • Stirring up pity and fear, then dispelling them is the function of tragedy
  • Promised a fuller explanation, but was probably lost to history with his book on Comedy.

Jakob Bernays – Uncle of Sigmund Freud

  • Classical interpretation comes from Bernays
  • We build up undesirable emotions which are evoked and released through tragedy.
  • These emotions are inherently negative.

Another Interpretation…

  • Aristotle believed emotions important for decision-making and character (Ethics)‏
  • Example: Too much fear = cowardly, too little fear = foolhardy
  • Catharsis is not, then, elimination; it is the reduction of these emotions from excess to balance.

Cathartic Relief in Literature

  • “Agamemnon” ends with its namesake, his daughter, and his wife dead in a series of murders by one another.
  • In Miller's All My Sons, Joe Keller, the father, commits suicide to relieve the burden he brought on his family.
  • The Shakespeare's couple, Romeo and Juliet, lay dead in the end of their play.

Works Cited

  • Engelman, Edmund. "Sigmund Freud." Online Image. The Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Online Catalog. Nov 15 1998. Sep 6 2008 <>.
  • Genius, Lisa. "Item # 002: Mary N.'s Book-Shaped Air Freshener." Online Image. Gouger Library Supplies. Jan 11 2007. Sep 6 2008 <>.
  • Holman, Geoffrey. "Scale." Online Image. iStockphoto. March 6 2008. Sep 6 2008 <>.
  • Janko, Richard. CATHARSIS. 1987. Sep 6 2008 <>.
  • Nehring, Nancy. "olive branch, Olea europaea." Online Image. iStockphoto. Aug 16 2007. Sep 6 2008 <>.
  • Lord Leighton, Frederic . "The Reconciliation of the Montagues and Capulets over the Dead Bodies of Romeo and Juliet." Online Image. Museum Syndicate. No date. Sep 9 2008 <>.
  • Rossetti, Francesco. "Balance." Online Image. iStockphoto. May 12 2008. Sep 6 2008 <>.
  • Slammer, Justin. "Agua Caliente, Finca El Paraíso, Guatemala ." Online Image. flickr. Sep 30 2006. Sep 6 2008 <>.

Orchestra: The orchestra (literally, "dancing space") was normally circular. It was a level space where the chorus would dance, sing, and interact with the actors who were on the stage near the skene. The earliest orchestras were simply made of hard earth, but in the Classical period some orchestras began to be paved with marble and other materials. In the center of the orchestra there was often a thymele, or altar. The orchestra of the theater of Dionysus in Athens was about 60 feet in diameter.

Theatron: The theatron (literally, "viewing-place") is where the spectators sat. The theatron was usually part of hillside overlooking the orchestra, and often wrapped around a large portion of the orchestra (see the diagram above). Spectators in the fifth century BC probably sat on cushions or boards, but by the fourth century the theatron of many Greek theaters had marble seats.

Skene: The skene (literally, "tent") was the building directly behind the stage. During the 5th century, the stage of the theater of Dionysus in Athens was probably raised only two or three steps above the level of the orchestra, and was about 25 feet wide and 10 feet deep. The skene was directly in back of the stage, and was usually decorated as a palace, temple, or other building, depending on the needs of the play. It had at least one set of doors, and actors could make entrances and exits through them. There was also access to the roof of the skene from behind, so that actors playing gods and other characters could appear on the roof, if needed.

Parodos: The parodoi (literally, "passageways") are the paths by which the chorus and some actors (such as those representing messengers or people returning from abroad) made their entrances and exits. The audience also used them to enter and exit the theater before and after the performance.


There were several scenic elements commonly used in Greek theatre:

Machina, a crane that gave the impression of a flying actor (thus providing deus ex machina).

Ekkyklema, a wheeled wagon used to bring dead characters into view for the audience

Trap doors, or similar openings in the ground to lift people onto the stage

Pinakes, pictures hung into the scene to show a scene's scenery

Thyromata, more complex pictures built into the second-level scene (3rd level from ground)‏

Phallic props were used for satyr plays, symbolizing fertility in honor of Dionysus.


Works Cited

  • First Photo
  • Second Photo
  • Information from