Aristotelian Tragedy
--- [Aristotelian] Pronunciation
--- [Tragedy] Pronunciation

Aristotle defined tragedy as a story that must include these six parts - Plot, Characters, Thought, Diction, Melody, and Spectacle
He believed that tragedy should "show" not "tell"

1. The plot - the way the events are presented to the audience; the structure of the play
a. Must have beginning, middle, and end
b. Must be structurally sound. Each action should ineveitably lead to the next without outer intervention (no deus ex machina)
c. Must be of a certain greatness (in length and in universal significance)
d. peripeteia (the character does something opposite of what hes expected) and anagnorisis(change from ignorance to
knowledge) should appear ( its best when one leads to another whjich then leads to catastrophe, the final scene)
2. Character - should support plot; personal motivations will produce a cause and effect chain, letting the audience feel pity and fear
a. Change in character should always come as a result of a great error
b. Characters need certain characteristics (described in Tragic Hero)
3. Thought - where something is proved to be or not to be
a. Should reveal character
b. Themes are included here
4. Diction - the expression of the words
a. Must be according to plot, characters, and the ending
5. Melody - music from the chorus
a. Should be fully involved in the play, just like the characters
6. Spectacle - emotional attraction
a. Aristotle believes a true writer should rely on the innver workings of the play, not the spectacle, to arouse emotions from the audience.

The ending is usually should the cleansing of feelings. Pity and fear should be aroused from the characters, and they should be reduced to a healthy proportion. It should involve the audience who should also get similar feelings with the character.

Example : Sophecles', Oedipus the King, is considered by Aristotle as one of the greatest examples of tragedy.


Aristotle, a a detail of The School of Athens, a fresco by Raphael.