Essay Example on Aristotle’s Understanding of Tragedy








Aristotle’s Understanding of Tragedy Aristotle 384 BC 322 BC one of the ancient Greek sikatalamians one of the greatest philosophers scientists and educators in ancient world history was a student of Plato Marx once described him as the most learned figure of the ancient Greek philosophers and Engels also called him Hegel an ancient man Aristotle was hard working for his whole life and wrote a large number of books his book is an ancient encyclopedia His political thought is a precious and outstanding cultural heritage of mankind and it is very realistic to study and concisely Aristotle's political thought represents the highest achievement of the ancient Greek political thought and is the summary of the political culture of the ancient Greek city state The book Poetics were written by Aristotle after he traveled to Gentile and returned to Athens that it was the crystallization of his mature aesthetic thoughts One of the most important part of Poetics is the tragedy theory in detail and in depth and systematic exposition from Aristotle In Aristotle's opinion tragedy has formed in six different elements which are plot character language thought spectacle and song Aristotle has mentioned in chapter 6 and 7 that tragedy is the imitation of a serious complete and certain length of action its medium is language with a variety of melodious sounds which are used in various parts of the play the method of imitation is expressed by the actions of characters rather than Narrative cause compassion and fear to make this emotion raised to a higher level 2 66

Among those elements the most necessary one called polt which is the arrangement of the incidents that make up the story 2 66 Because tragedy imitates not human beings but the purpose of human action life happiness and tragedy is not to imitate human qualities but to imitate certain actions the characters in the dramas are determined by their character 

Their happiness and unhappiness depend on their actions Instead of acting for the sake of character they attach a character to their performance Therefore the purpose of tragedy art is to organize the plot In all things the purpose is the most important According to Aristotle s saying all human happiness and misery take the form of action Character gives us qualities but it is in our actions what we do that we are happy or miserable 1, For example, the Chinese play Thunderstorm a drama was directed by Yu Cao It depicts the tragedy of a bourgeois family with a strong feudal background in the background of Chinese society around 1925 The complex relationship between the characters and love and hatred throughout the entire play But the dramatist is more focusing on how characters feeling change instead of how to create characters which completely compliment

Aristotle's tragic plot arrangement requirements Character takes the place of second important elements in a tragedy in Aristotle's theory A tragedy without character can not be called as a tragedy In the article Aristotle on Plot and Character King John claims that the meaning of Aristotle s character is more of the theatrical genre of individuals than the accurate portrayal of what we consider to be intensely imagined 3 As long as the plot is arranged it will certainly produce a tragedy effect However a good character set can give tragedy to the soul Therefore the plot is the basis of tragedy character is the soul of tragedy Take the drama 

Thunderstorm as an example each character is very distinctive personality characteristics each role left audiences a very deep impression Especially Fanyi Zhou a lady with some education seeks for freedom longs for love but gets trapped in the circle unable to get out of that risky and dark corner Thought is in the third place Thought is the ability to say what is appropriate in the locality at that time It refers to words that prove that something is true or false or about universal truth Considering the relationship between thought and character thought is the sublimation of character and it is a better expression of emotion over character Moreover thought is not just a reflection of the characters in the story of the tragedy but it also includes the audience s thinking Tragedies often contain the irony of real-life and attack on traditional feudal culture so it triggering people’s thinking about life and thinking about themselves

Most tragedies have educational significance which is a very remarkable trait As well as an essential element of tragedy Normally The beauty of the tragedy will often be greater than comedy It reveals the existence of the drowsiness doubts fate and gives audiences a feeling of learning and understanding Aristotle’s Poetics laid the foundation for the Western tragedy theory provided systematic theoretical support for the tragedy analysis and had a tremendous impact on later tragedies However the appearance of Yu s tragedy Thunderstorm exactly verified the tragedy theory of Aristotle thousands of years later Nowadays Aristotle’s tragedy theory still has profound implications Work Cited Aristotle Poetics Createspace 2016 Accessed on Jan 6 2018 Clifford R Backman and Christine Axen Chapter 5 4 Aristotle On the Elements of Tragedy Poetics book 5 Sources For Cultures of The West 2014 Paged Print Accessed on Jan 6 2018 King John Aristotle on Plot and Character web uvic ca mbest1 engl366b jnnotes2 HTML Accessed on Jan 6 2018

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