• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Aristotle's definition of tragedy

Extracts from this document...


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.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate Languages section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related International Baccalaureate Languages essays

  1. Gatsby as Tragic Hero

    Although as Gatsby is asked to explain what happened it becomes apparent that he wasn't the one driving, as Nick asks on page.151, "Was Daisy driving?" which to this Gatsby replies, "Yes, but of course I'll say I was." This conscience decision on Gatsby's part to take the blame directly connects to downfall.

  2. Why Do the Characters in Dracula Fear or Don(TM)t Fear Him?

    the most advanced scientists of his day and he has, I believe and absolutely open mind" (114). Helsing is a character that sees Dracula as an invader of the status-quo: someone who can and will further corrupt England and its people.

  1. Antigone Tragic Heor

    refusal to listen to his councillors, Haemon and the messenger to consider Antigone's case wisely and to release her - suggests his character to be stubborn and also flawed. He is a man whose prominence brings him glory and splendour, but whose weakness leads to tragedy.

  2. Zorba the Greek (log)

    Zorba seems to be solely living for women, especially when he says that he would wish to take all the beautiful young girls with him in the grave. (p.82) Zorba is slightly a hedonist and a bohemian. He lives for the pleasures of the world, which is especially sex and women.

  1. History research - Early Australian bushrangers. English writing -my region and favourite authors.

    Bill Clinton recognized that although college would be expensive, it would give him the education he needed to accomplish his goals. His hard work in school, combined with his music ability, earned him many academic and music scholarships. With the aid of those scholarships and loans from the government, he was able to attend Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

  2. Sophocles Oedipus Rex

    first twenty- two lines, the pronoun "I" is used, where really, "we" should be used. This use of "I" suggest unity within the people of Thebes and that they are altogether in the grief of the plague. The next section of this monologue (lines 190-203)

  1. Vietnamese Poetry and Language

    gi��a ��i bu�n la�m kho�ng quen Gio� loa�n tr�i Nam, ma�t ng��i va�n bu�i Xin nha�n tie�ng c��i cha�ng Tie�p D� �ie�n! Ba�i th� la�m na�m 1981. Na�m �a�nh da�u mo�t b��c ngoa�t � tuo�i ��i bo�n m��i: bo� nghe� da�y ho�c, gia�c mo�ng o�m a�p t�� th�i co�n nho�.

  2. All About Greek Drama

    Sets mood and heightens dramatic effects o Adds movement, spectacle, song, and dance o Had a vital role at the beginning of Greek Theatre, this role was later on reduced as actors were introduced * The comedies of Aristophanes (including conventions of comedy)

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work