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ELEMENTS OF TRAGEDY

ELEMENTS OF TRAGEDY

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ELEMENTS OF TRAGEDY

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  1. ELEMENTS OF TRAGEDY TRAGIC HEROES: BEYOND THE FLAW & DOWNFALL

  2. Tragedy by definition • Imitation • Mimesis (Latin) • Represents reality • Gives form and meaning • Othello

  3. Tragedy by definition (cont) • Tone • Serious • It raises pity and fear • Moral issues • Psychological issues • Or social issues

  4. Tragedy by definition (cont) • Structure • Beginning • Middle • End

  5. Tragedy by definition (cont) • Diction • Attractive • Appropriate for each part • i.e. chorus

  6. Tragedy by definition (cont) • Relies on an enactment or dramatic performance with focus on hero or heroine

  7. Tragedy by definition (cont) • Purification • Catharsis • Raise emotions of pity and terror • Purges or purifies the emotions • Arouses these emotions in spectator (audience) who also undergoes catharsis • Audience relates • Audience identifies

  8. ARISTOTLE on Tragedy • Six parts • Plot – most important • Character • Diction • Thought • Spectacle • Melody

  9. ARISTOTLE on Tragedy (cont) • Plot • most important part of tragedy • Complex and Simple plots • All plots need suffering • Pathos

  10. Complex plots • Complex plots are ideal (simple plots only have “change of fortune”) • Reversal • Peripeteia • Situation starts to develop one way • Suddenly reverses to another

  11. Complex plots • Recognition • Anagnorisis • “knowing again” • Protagonist must come to realization of how the world really works before his/her death • Usually a horrible event or secret marks recognition

  12. Complex plots • Suffering • pathos • Third part of plot is destructive or painful act

  13. Complex plots • Reversal • Recognition • Suffering

  14. ARISTOTLE on Tragedy • Six parts • Plot – most important • Character • Diction • Thought • Spectacle • Melody

  15. Character • Tragic hero/heroine • Hubris • Greek & Elizabethan hero – nobility • Modern literature • Good and decent person • Neither villain nor “perfect” model • Low/middle class status exploring own worthiness

  16. Character • Mistake or flaw • Hamartia • Inherent characteristic flaw • Determined and courageous in facing fate

  17. Change of fortune Catastrophe Pathos Reversal Peripeteia Knowledge Anagnorisis Change of fortune Castrophe Pathos Simple plots & Complex plots

  18. Character (cont) • Character has to be renowned and prosperous or morally upright • So change of fortune can be seen • Good to bad • Change of fortune comes as a result • Frailty and vulnerability • Thus, pity and fear is aroused • Unmerited misfortune • Fear in that misfortune of a man like ourselves

  19. Hamartia(ideal tragic model-mistake/flaw) • Protagonist mistakenly brings own downfall • Not from sin or moral weakness • But from lack of knowledge • Hamartia is not moral status but inevitable consequence it brings

  20. Given this, reversal is done in blindness, which leads to results completely opposite of what was intended • Tragic irony • Re-knowing is then the gaining of essential knowledge lacked before

  21. ARISTOTLE on Tragedy • Six parts • Plot – most important • Character • Diction • Thought • Spectacle • Melody

  22. Thought • A general maxim is established • Something is proven to be or not • Theme here

  23. Diction • Expression of words • Stylistic devices • Aristotle big on metaphors

  24. Melody • Chorus role • Fully integrated like actors • Not just interludes; contributes to plot interlude

  25. Spectacle • Staging • Can be emotionally attractive • Poets should rely more on inner structure of play than spectacle (settings)

  26. Influence in Modern Day • Aristotle influenced the Renaissance writers • 3 unities • Time • Action • Place

  27. Influence in Modern Day • Restrictions, dramatic code and definitions of Aristotle’s philosophies have lessened • General move away from Aristocratic politics • Rise on middle class - Bourgeoisie

  28. Influence in Modern Day • Tragic elements appear as today’s playwrights investigate social injustices and self determination • Keep in mind components of tragic hero as we continue our reading for the year

  29. 7 Elements of a perfect tragic hero: • Status (Hubris also part of this) • Flaw • Downfall • Change of fortune (Suffering also part of this) • Reversal • Recognition • Death

  30. Byronic Hero

  31. Romantic poet Lord Byron (George Gordon) credited • Prototypical anti-hero, known as the Byronic hero • Larger than life character but flawed • Could be considered a rebel

  32. Exhibits conflicting emotions and excessive moodiness • Is passionate about a particular issue • Can be introspective and critical of himself • Struggles with his own sense of integrity

  33. Operates largely within his own set of rules and principles • Rejects accepted codes and norms of society • Is fiercely independent and strongly individual • Is a loner (whether imposed by society of self-imposed)

  34. Displays a lack of respect for rank and privilege • Has a troubled or mysterious past • Can be cynical, demanding, and arrogant • Exhibits self-destructive tendencies and behavior

  35. This hyper-sensitive loner, obsessively following a quest-which being a Romantic Quest, is doomed to failure –usually ends up dead at the end of his story, either as the unintended consequences o f the hero’s own choices and actions, or as a conscious choice.

  36. Is Gatsby a classic tragic hero or a more modern Byronic hero?