Presentation on theme: "From The Poetics. Tragedy depicts the downfall of a basically good person through some fatal error or misjudgment, producing suffering and insight on."— Presentation transcript:
from The Poetics
Tragedy depicts the downfall of a basically good person through some fatal error or misjudgment, producing suffering and insight on the part of the protagonist and arousing pity and fear on the part of the audience.
A true tragedy should evoke pity and fear on the part of the audience. Pity and fear are the natural human responses to spectacles of pain and suffering – especially to the sort of pain and suffering that can strike anyone at any time. The effect is that we feel relief in the end through catharsis, and are purged of these feelings.
The tragic hero must be essentially admirable and good. The fall of a scoundrel or villain evokes applause rather than pity. Audiences cheer when the bad guy goes down. We feel compassion for someone we admire when that character is in a difficult situation. The nobler and more admirable the person is, the greater our anxiety or grief at his or her downfall.
In a true tragedy, the heros demise must come as a result of some personal error or decision. There is no such thing as an innocent victim in tragedy, nor can a genuinely tragic downfall every be purely a matter of blind accident or bad luck. The tragic hero must always bear at least some responsibility for his own doom.
Tragic recognition or insight. A moment of clairvoyant insight or understanding in the mind of the tragic hero as he suddenly comprehends the web of fate in which he is entangled.
HAMARTIA Tragic error. A fatal error or simple mistake on the part of the protagonist that eventually leads to the final catastrophe. A metaphor from archery, hamartia literally refers to a shot that misses the bullseye.
HUBRIS Violent transgression. Hubris is the sort of insolent daring that gets a person in deep trouble. Sometimes translated as false pride, hubris is a daring overstepping of cultural codes or ethical boundaries.
NEMESIS Retribution. The inevitable payback or cosmic punishment for acts of hubris.
Plot reversal. A pivotal or crucial action on the part of the protagonist that changes the situation from seemingly secure to vulnerable.
CATHARSIS Transformation through transaction. A feeling of emotional purging on the part of the audience during a tragedy. The audience feels pity and fear at first, only to feel relief and exhilaration at the end through catharsis.