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Aristotle's definition of tragedy

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English Homework Aristotle?s definition of tragedy The philosopher Aristotle said in his work Poetics that tragedy is characterized by seriousness and dignity and involving a great person who experiences a reversal of fortune (Peripeteia). Aristotle's definition can include a change of fortune from bad to good as in the Eumenides, but he says that the change from good to bad as in Oedipus Rex is preferable because this effects pity and fear within the spectators. Tragedy results in a catharsis (emotional cleansing) ...read more.


(since the original Greek etymology traces back to hamartanein, a sporting term that refers to an archer or spear-thrower missing his target). According to Aristotle, "The change to bad fortune which he undergoes is not due to any moral defect or flaw, but a mistake of some kind." The reversal is the inevitable but unforeseen result of some action taken by the hero. It is also a misconception that this reversal can be brought about by a higher power (e.g. ...read more.


In Poetics, Aristotle gave the following definition in ancient Greek of the word "tragedy" (τραγωδία): á¼στὶν οá½ν τραγωδία μίμησις πράξεως σπουδαίας καὶ τελείας, μέγεθος á¼χοÏσης, ἡδυσμένῳ λÏγῳ, χωρὶς á¼κάστῳ τῶν εá¼°δá½¼ν á¼ν τοá¿ς μορίοις, δρÏντων καὶ οá½ δι'á¼παγγελίας, δι' á¼λέου καὶ φÏβου περαίνουσα τá½´ν τῶν τοιοÏτων παθημάτων κάθαρσιν. which means Tragedy is an imitation of an action that is admirable, complete (composed of an introduction, a middle part and an ending), and possesses magnitude; in language made pleasurable, each of its species separated in different parts; performed by actors, not through narration; effecting through pity and fear the purification of such emotions. 25 January 2012Page ...read more.

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