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(Elements of Drama) - Drama imitates reality through representation rather than imitation - Essay Example

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Description In this paper we will briefly overview the structure, language and characteristic features of two pieces of tragedy “Oedipus Rex” by Sophocles and “Fences” by August Wilson. We will also analyze these plays with regard to the Aristotle’s “Poetics”. At…
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(Elements of Drama) - Drama imitates reality through representation rather than imitation
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Download file to see previous pages During the analysis we will look for evidences that can prove our original idea. We’ll overview the tragedies without retelling their plots and going into details.
Both pieces of literature belong to the field of tragedy. Let’s briefly remind us of the main requirements to the tragedy proposed by the Aristotle in his famous “Poetics” and later by the representatives of the Enlightenment.
According to Aristotle, tragedy is the imitation in dramatic form of an action which is serious and complete, with occurrences that evoke sympathy and fear /Aristotle, 1999/. Aristotle believes that the writer should use pleasant language that must fit the situation in which it is used. The main characters of a tragedy are noble and well-off people, performing noble actions.
Aristotle also made a statement in his work “Poetics” that tragedy should lead to the catharsis of the audience when they experience and share emotions of the characters and sympathize to their suffering /Aristotle, 1999/.
Enlightenment writers proposed that according to its structure tragedy should be composed of five acts and involve three main characters which should be noble and famous. The author should begin the tragedy in the middle of the action, make use of noble language and refrain from the scenes of horror on the stage.
From the Aristotle times it was considered that the ideal piece of tragedy should consist of two main parts. They are complication and unraveling. Those incidents that are inessential to the development of the plot are mostly combined with of the action proper in order to mould the complication. So we can say that the complication is the whole amount of actions from the beginning to that part of the play where the course of events changes either for good or for bad. The unraveling then is all that remains. It begins with the end of the complication and extends to the end of the tragedy / Wikipedia/.
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