Aristotle does use a word that means passions of that sort toiouta , but I think he does so only to indicate that pity and fear are not themselves things subject to identification with pin-point precision, but that each refers to a range of feeling. It is also very controversial because of the relationship that Oedipus has with his mother, although it was unknown at the time that they were related. We call the poet a creator, and are offended at the suggestion that he might be merely some sort of recording device. In Oedipus's case, he is superior not only because of social standing, but also because he is smart: he is the only person who could solve the Sphinx's riddle. Edited and translated by St. The wholeness of action that Shakespeare shapes for us shows that Gloucester's goodness, displayed in a courageous, deliberate choice, and not his weakness many years earlier, cost him his eyes.
Aristotle comes to Euripides' defense often in the Poetics, saying that though critics censured his work as morose, his plays were often the best because they were the 'most tragic. If Priam is like Achilles' father, then Hector must come to seem to Achilles to be like a brother, or to be like himself. The shepherd unwillingly admits that he knew that Oedipus is the son of Jocasta and Laius. The story leaves the reader thinking that maybe one day that the four characters may get to speak with one another. Aristotle compares Sophocles to Homer for his tendency to idealize humanity. The chorus laments how even a great man can be felled by fate, and following this, a servant exits the palace to speak of what has happened inside. The servant then exposes the infant on a mountaintop, where he is found and rescued by a shepherd in some versions, the servant gives the infant to the shepherd.
This odd amalgam of continued suffering and closure make the audience feel as if Oedipus' suffering is his proper and natural state. Oedipus, like other greek characters, did not see his errors until his reign was coming to an end. Strangely, though, the Poetics itself is rarely read with the kind of sensitivity its critics claim to possess, and the thing criticized is not the book Aristotle wrote but a caricature of it. Giorgos Seferis Giorgos Seferis lived quite a long time after the ancient Greek writers and philosophers. Aristotle is insistent that a tragedy must be whole and one, because only in that way can it be beautiful, while he also ascribes the superiority of tragedy over epic poetry to its greater unity and concentration ch. The tragedians I have in mind are five: Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides; Shakespeare, who differs from them only in time; and Homer, who differs from them somewhat more, in the form in which he composed, but shares with them the things that matter most.
Originally, to the ancient Greeks, the title was simply Oedipus Οἰδίπους , as it is referred to by Aristotle in the. In Oedipus Rex, the fundamental character, Oedipus, carries imperfections as well as inevitable fate much like a tragic hero. Hamartia is a difficult word to translate, but linguistic research reveals little doubt that it does not refer to an intrinsic character flaw. Other scholars have nonetheless argued that Sophocles follows tradition in making Laius's oracle conditional, and thus avoidable. No other shows an equal degree of art in the development of the plot; and this excellence depends on the powerful and subtle drawing of the characters.
Incidentally, there is an excellent small book called Woe or Wonder, the Emotional Effect of Shakespearean Tragedy, by J. Hector, who must go up against those hands, is mesmerized by them; they are like a fire, he says, and repeats it. An argument ensued and Oedipus killed the travelers, including a man who matches Jocasta's description of Laius. He is speaking of the imitation of action, and by action he does not mean mere happenings. So tragedy is an imitation not of people, but of action, life, and happiness or unhappiness, while happiness and unhappiness have their being in activity, and come to completion not in a quality but in some sort of action. Wonder does not numb the other feelings; what it does is dislodge them from their habitual moorings.
Aristotle asserts that if one strings together a set of expressive speeches of a character, one would not produce the essential tragic effect. The catastrophe is a scene of suffering for the protagonist. Why shouldn't some tragedy arouse pity and joy, say, and another fear and cruelty? It is not a word he uses loosely, and in fact his use of it in the definition of tragedy recalls the discussion in the Ethics. The poetic imagination is limited only by its skill, and can turn any object into a focus for any feeling. It was expected of the plot to evolve around the good fortune of the tragic hero initially, only to be reduced to a series of events that would cause the character's downfall eventually. It does not confer intelligibility on particulars, because immutable and everlasting Forms cannot explain how particulars come into existence and undergo change. Oedipus, the protagonist of the play uncovers his tragic birth story and the curse he had been baring his whole life.
It is unlikely for there to be two tragic characters in a Greek tragedy, and there can be only one in the play Antigone. I could add other authors, such as Dostoyevski, who wrote stories of the tragic kind in much looser literary forms, but I want to keep the focus on a small number of clear paradigms. Tragedy is about central and indispensable human attributes, disclosed to us by the pity that draws us toward them and the fear that makes us recoil from what threatens them. In some cases his unlikely stories about rare species of fish were proved accurate many centuries later. The characters in both works are exposed to tragedies at some point of their lifetime. Aristotle explains that such a change is crystal clear in Oedipus Rex; there, we see a messenger coming to Oedipus to reassure him about his mother; eventually, though, he accidentally reveals who Oedipus really is and sets in motion the terrible ending. In addition, it facilitates easier readability and understandability among readers.
He analyzes why this play, Oedipus Rex, written in Ancient Greece, is so effective even to a modern audience. On virtually every page of the Tempest, the word wonder appears, or else some synonym for it. Aristotle begins by saying that tragedy arouses pity and fear in such a way as to culminate in a cleansing of those passions, the famous catharsis. Oedipus got into an argument with him and in a fit of and bad temper killed the old man and four of his servants. The king enters and addresses his subjects, and immediately it is known that all is not well in the city of Thebes. Sophocles was wealthy from birth, highly educated, noted for his grace and charm, on easy terms with the leading families, a personal friend of prominent statesmen, and in many ways fortunate to have died before the final surrender of Athens to in 404. This means that individuals, reading the work, would not forget the message being passed across.