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How far does the Agamemnon reflect the Perfect Tragedy?

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Introduction

How far does the Agamemnon reflect the Perfect Tragedy? In this essay I shall explore the how far the Agamemnon reflects the Perfect Tragedy. This means that I shall look at the following factors that make the Perfect Tragedy: the plot, themes, outcomes and unity of time and place; character, diction, melody, spectacle and catharsis. I shall see how all these factors contribute to the ideas put forward from Aristotle and see how far these factors support or contradict his view. The Agamemnon may have some factors that prove it is a perfect Tragedy however, Aristotle thinks that a tragedy must hold all the factors in it's stead. The Plot in the Agamemnon is a simple plot, this is a plot that is not easy to follow and the audience find it hard to understand what is happening. Aristotle prefers a more complex plot, where the events that take place are a lot more believable to the audience and they understand how and why these events happened. It is also put forward that a simple plot involves a change of fortune but no peripeteia or anagnorisis. Aristotle says that the plot is the most important factor for a perfect tragedy, this is more important that the influence of character, the plot is the "soul of a tragedy". As the plot is not what is outlined by Aristotle it can be seen that a simple plot is not as good as a simple plot, and Agamemnon has a simple plot. ...read more.

Middle

She is consistent through the play and she knows what she has to do. It could be argued that she is not necessary to the plot because she is not an important character, she only shows the audience the truth, and Clytemnestra did not need to kill her. From this you can see that none of the characters are really the tragic hero, they are more tragic characters and Orestes is the tragic hero of the trilogy. Aeschylus' approach to tragedy is not really the Perfect Tragedy that Aristotle says it should be. The diction used, according to Aristotle is the type of language that is used, Aristotle prefers that diction is used rather than spectacle. There is quite a lot of diction in the Agamemnon and this shows that is slightly more of a Perfect tragedy. I shall look at the characters that use diction well. The chorus are very important in their use of diction as they use metaphors very regularly especially the eagle and the hare or Agamemnon and Clytemnestra, this builds tension and foreboding in the audience because we know exactly what Clytemnestra is going to do from the metaphors that the chorus are using very regularly. They point out the fact that there is good and bad very, very regularly. Cassandra has quite a lot of diction as she is always using exclamation in both her tone and cries during her big speech, this really makes her fall all the more devastating for the audience. ...read more.

Conclusion

All the characters, collectively, are show to consist of the main things needed in a character and to some extent there is a tragic hero. The diction used in the Agamemnon really proves that it is a perfect tragedy because all the characters use diction to show the way they act to its full stature. Also, there is a melody involved in the play so proving that there is a rhythm to some extent. However, the plot does not fit in with Aristotelian definition because Aristotle prefers a complex plot rather than a simple plot, the play must be based in one day, which it isn't, and there is also a lot to know about what happened before the play started. The outcome of the play is not complete, Aeschylus uses the trilogy to emphasise the final outcome. There is also no tragic hero, as Orestes is the tragic hero but he is not in the Agamemnon as he is with a "family friend". Aristotle does not like Aeschylus' style of melody as he thinks there should be more of a concise rhythm to it. Aristotle does not think spectacle is important in a tragedy and Aeschylus uses these lots in the play which is not right for a Perfect tragedy. The most important thing that does not happen in the Agamemnon is catharsis and even though we get glimmers of hope it is not right for Perfect tragedy. Finally, I think that the Agamemnon is not the Perfect tragedy and contradicts Aristotelian definition quite a lot. ?? ?? ?? ?? Amy Porter ...read more.

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