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+ Oedipus and Aristotle By Kevin Esherick Why is his picture bigger than mine? I’M SMARTER THAN BOTH OF THEM!!! I’M SMARTER THAN BOTH OF THEM!!!

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Presentation on theme: "+ Oedipus and Aristotle By Kevin Esherick Why is his picture bigger than mine? I’M SMARTER THAN BOTH OF THEM!!! I’M SMARTER THAN BOTH OF THEM!!!"— Presentation transcript:

1 + Oedipus and Aristotle By Kevin Esherick Why is his picture bigger than mine? I’M SMARTER THAN BOTH OF THEM!!! I’M SMARTER THAN BOTH OF THEM!!!

2 + The Poetics… The four laws of causality Formal / material / efficient / final cause The formal cause of tragedy (the idea), the soul of Tragedy is PLOT (the universal which is____ in Oedipus?) The final cause of tragedy is the same as the formal cause How X “OUGHT” to be in nature… recall Sidney’s Defense: POET WRITES OF WHAT OUGHT TO BE…

3 + The poet writes about what might be expected; what OUGHT to be expected which is the UNIVERSAL… Tragedy must be structured (Beginning, middle, end) in such a way as to make the universal apparent in the particular plus the use of the syllogism combining theoretical and practical wisdom. Aristotle approaches tragedy therefore as both a scientist and a moralist….classify, organize and make value judgments. The purpose: Tragedy is people in ACTION. And the action reveals the moral purpose—in Oedipus, the 3 “P’s” (Perception = Aristotle’s Recognition) Characters choose, but Oedipus seems to be fated? (KNOX)…how can there be choice? What does Knox say? PP / text: 20 / 22 & 25 The organization is based on a syllogism:

4 + The syllogism: HAPPINESS IS ACTIVITY OF THE SOUL IN ACCORDANCE WITH VIRTUE PLOT IMITATES ACTION THAT LEAD TO HAPPINESS. PLOT LEADS TO VIRTUE (RIGHT CONDUCT/ GOLDEN MEAN) WHAT IS IMITATED SERIOUS, GOOD, NOBLE, MEN SEEN AS BETTER THAN THEY ARE WHICH IS THE SOUL OF TRAGEDY… TRAGEDY IS AN IMITATION OF A GOOD ACTION BY A HEROIC CHARACTER.

5 THE CLASSICAL VIEW --REALITY IS THE PROBLEM: ---EXPERIMENT --PLATO CONCLUDES; POET IS FATHER OF______ = 3X’S REMOVED --ARISTOTLE: TRAGEDY IS AN IMITATION OF AN ACTION THAT IS SERIOUS, COMPLETE AND POSSESSING MAGNITUDE…IN THE MODE OF ACTION; NOT NARRATED; AND EFFECTING PITY AND FEAR [WHAT WE CALL CATHARSIS] OF SUCH EMOTIONS. THE IMITATION OF THE ACTION IS THE PLOT. TRAGEDY IS NOT AN IMITATION OF MEN BUT OF ACTIONS AND LIFE. IT IS IN ACTION THAT HAPPINESS AND UNHAPPINESS ARE FOUND KEVIN IS MY HERO!!! (HE’S A GOD!) BUT THE CHILD IS FATHER TO THE MAN… NA NA NA!!!

6 THE IDEA HERE IS ALSO THE GOLDEN MEAN THE HERO CANNOT BE A SAINT….MOTHER T. OR A SINNER….HITLER QUOTE: Good men ought not to be shown passing from prosperity to misfortune, for this does not inspire either pity or fear, but only revulsion; nor evil men rising from ill fortune to prosperity...neither should a wicked man be seen falling from prosperity into misfortune...We are left with the man whose place is between these extremes. Such is the man who on the one hand does not fall into misfortune through vice or depravity. He falls because of some mistake...[This is often translated as the tragic flaw.] Sounds like nihilism to me!!! For the record, I told him about NIHILISM, and he had to look it up!!

7 + TERMS: PITY—the audience feels for the character FEAR—we fear for ourselves.. CATHARSIS—educational and moral and medical TRAGIC FLAW (MORAL / JUDGMENTAL?) The Process by which this is actualized involves REVERSAL AND RECOGNITION… (IRONY AND AWARENESS) WHERE IN OEDIPUS DOES THIS OCCUR? P. 27 why? A MORALLY RESPECTABLE PERSON MAKES A CREDIBLE ERROR SO THE PLOT CAN MOVE TOWARD REVERAL AND RECOGNITION.

8 + SO PARADOXICALLY, CATHARSIS RESULTS…TRAGEDY MAKES THE DISAGREEABLE EVAPORATE, SO ONE IS IN TOUCH WITH THE FORM THROUGH THE ACTIONS OF THE CHARACTES. WE LEARN FROM CONTACT WITH THE UNIVERSAL THROUGH THE SITUATIONS THE CHARACTERS ARE IN (James) WE INTELLECTUALLY GRASP THE FORM… THIS EXCITES PLEASURE…WHICH SHOULD BE CONTROLLED BY REASON…THAT IS THEORECTICAL WIDSOM (KNOWLEDGE OF THE FORM) EXCITES PITY AND FEAR = CATHARSIS… THE PRACTICAL INTELLECT MAKES THE RIGHT MORAL JUDGMENT: SYLLOGISM:

9 + THE SYLLOGISM How should a person think in order to arrive at a morally good decision? Aristotle suggests this syllogism: Major Premise: The Major Premise, the universal, comes from education, from an educated sense of what happiness means in my community and its relationship to the variously ranked goods of life. THIS IS THEORETICAL WISDOM (REALISM) The good life for me, which is my overall goal, means that in situation X, virtue requires me to do Y (I know this from my education, my observation of those people famous for their virtue, and the habits I have acquired over time). SO IN A SITUATION IN WHICH THE PEOPLE ARE SUFFERING, I OEDIPUS MUST GET INVOLVED. I MUST FIND OUT WHY. Minor Premise:. The Minor Premise comes from my intelligent perception of the particular situation which now faces me and the various responses I might make to it, and the conclusion comes from correct reasoning. Aristotle calls this PRACTICAL WISDOM (NOMINALISM) coming from, habit, observation, and examples What I am faced with now is a situation X (I know this from the analytical skills I have acquired in experience and from education). IN SEEKING THE SOLUTION, I DISCOVER THAT A PROPHET ACCUSES ME OF BEING THE CAUSE FOR THE CRIME…I CANNOT ACCEPT THIS.

10 + The conclusion Conclusion: Therefore virtue requires that in this situation I choose to do Y. I OEDIPUS BEGIN TO ACCUSE THE PROPHET AND CREON OF BEING OBSTRUCTIONISTIC. BUT…(REVERSAL AND RECOGNITION = PERCEPTION) I CAN SEE, AND I KNOW WHAT THE TRUTH REALLY IS.

11 + Error arises if the major premise is false (in a bad or poorly educated person, one who has a false notion of the good life) or if the minor premise is based upon an inaccurate assessment of the immediate situation and the possible responses to it, or if the person is ignorant of some essential facts. To be able to avoid such errors means that one possesses practical wisdom. It is possible to come to the correct conclusion erroneously (by chance or luck), but the true wisdom will go through the process correctly and make the morally right choice. Details from the play: -reversal and recognition?___________________p. 27 and page____30 -Motifs associated with the R and R A TWENTY THIRD CENTURY PARALLEL WHAT DID KIRK SAY TO APOLLO?


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