Presentation on theme: "Tragedies and Tragic Heroes from Aristotle. Tragedy v. Comedy Comedy begins in chaos and ends in marriage. Tragedy ends in death and the hero of the."— Presentation transcript:
Tragedy v. Comedy Comedy begins in chaos and ends in marriage. Tragedy ends in death and the hero of the story brings it on himself.
Tragic vs Pathetic Do not think of tragedy as something sad. A family can get hit by a drunk driver and die instantly. It’s very sad, but it’s not tragic because they didn’t cause it themselves. Aristotle would call that pathetic – sad and accidental.
Tragic Hero Tragedies have tragic heroes. The hero is a regular guy (meaning he’s mortal, needs to eat and sleep just like any real person), But he’s socially or morally (maybe he’s a king, or a senator, or a prince). But he’s somehow better socially or morally (maybe he’s a king, or a senator, or a prince).
It is important that the hero not be too good. The audience needs to identify with him. We need to imagine that what happens to him could happen to us.
The tragic hero falls from eminence (his high status) to misfortune (a bad state to be in).
He falls because he has a tragic flaw that causes him to make a mistake (or several). The most common flaw is hubris (too much pride).
Once the tragic hero makes his mistake, he experiences a series of reversals of fortune (bad stuff starts happening).
The tragic hero then realizes his mistake and accepts his fate with honor. Then the hero experiences a final reversal (usually death), but he at least dies with honor knowing what he did wrong. WE learn from his mistakes.
When the audience watches a tragedy we feel pity (sorry for the hero) and fear (that something just as bad could happen to us). We can only feel this if we could identify with the hero.
The pity and fear are very strong, but we are purged of them by the time we leave the theater. This experience is known as catharsis. We are better people after watching a tragedy (according to Aristotle).