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How Sophocles' Oedipus exemplifies Aristotle's definition of a tragic hero - Research Paper Example

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The discussion will attempt to address the primary question framed as follows: How Sophocles’ Oedipus exemplifies Aristotle’s definition of a tragic hero? After examining the story of Oedipus the King, it becomes clear that the play is a tragedy, as it fits the definition of ‘tragedy’ provided by Aristotle…
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How Sophocles Oedipus exemplifies Aristotles definition of a tragic hero
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Extract of sample "How Sophocles' Oedipus exemplifies Aristotle's definition of a tragic hero"

Download file to see previous pages This research will begin with the statement that Sophocles’ Oedipus The King, is basically a tragedy about the life of its protagonist, Oedipus, son of Laius and Jocasta. The paper at hand focuses on exploring how Oedipus The King incorporates Aristotle’s Definition of a tragic hero, thus, ultimately making the play a tragedy. It also discusses and gives a brief overview of Aristotle’s philosophies regarding tragedy, tragic hero as well as drama. Furthermore, the paper overviews the origins of Oedipus The King and explains the various devices used in the play, such as the style, imagery, tone, recognition, reversal etc. Upon analyzing the drama, it becomes clear that Sophocles indeed exemplifies Aristotle’s definition of a tragic hero through the key elements of Oedipus’ hamartia (tragic flaw), peripeteia, anagnorisis, downfall, getting more than what is deserved etc and the plot epitomizes tragedy through imitation, arousal of pity and fear in the audience and finally the experience of catharsis. The ancient Greeks saw theatre not only as a means of entertainment but also as a way to celebrate their gods, thus they promoted various theatrical performances. These performances were basically in the form of plays or drama, the latter of which is defined by Aristotle as “poems representing action” in his work named ‘Poetics’. Aristotle also talks about the classification of drama into “Tragedy and Comedy,” and furthermore, defines tragedy as the “imitation of an action that is serious and also, as having magnitude, complete in itself.; in appropriate and pleasurable language;... in a dramatic rather than narrative form; with incidents arousing pity and fear, wherewith to accomplish a catharsis of these emotions” (University of Chicago Internet Project, n.d., p.1). According to this definition, on analysis of Oedipus the King, one can see imitation in the form that the performance is a re-enactment of the whole story, and the main issue in the story is the conflict between fate and Oedipus’ choices or actions. This issue is serious as well as of great importance, and also, it is ‘complete in itself,’ that is, the theme or issue is followed throughout the story. The serious actions range from Oedipus killing his own father to him marrying his mother and in the end becoming a reason for her suicide as well. The point to be noted here is that all his actions, although resulting from fate, are still an outcome of his own decisions. The language used in the play is ‘appropriate and pleasurable’ in the sense that the comments of the chorus are different from that of others’ dialogs, as the former has different meters as well as rhythm and melody. The tone ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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