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Aristotle’s Tragic Hero.

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Presentation on theme: "Aristotle’s Tragic Hero."— Presentation transcript:

1 Aristotle’s Tragic Hero

2 A General Definition of Tragedy
Any serious and dignified drama that describes a conflict between the hero (protagonist) and a superior force (antagonist), and reaches a sorrowful conclusion that arouses pity or fear in the audience.

3 Aristotle’s Poetics: Basic Concepts
Complex plots are better than simple ones A tragedy should end unhappily and provoke catharsis  Catharsis: release of the audience’s built up pity and fear. The pity and fear which the tragedy evokes should come from the events, not from the mere sight of something on stage.

4 Empathy for the tragic hero and his situation must increase
Is motivated by ethical (justice) and/or pathetic (moral) concerns.

5 The Tragic Hero Is not all good or bad
Is of the noble class or highly renowned and prosperous Unwittingly sets forces in motion that will lead ultimately to his/her downfall. Endures pathos (scenes of great suffering) Audience’s sympathy for/empathy with the tragic hero and his situation must increase as plot unfolds

6 Tragic Flaw (Hamartia)
Causes the downfall of the tragic hero Can be any (usually negative) trait that is excessive and potentially harmful (such as desire, self-will, pride)

7 Reversal (Peripeteia)
Reversal is a change of a situation to its opposite. Hero realizes he has erred and accepts the consequences

8 Recognition (Anagnorisis)
Recognition is a change from ignorance to knowledge. The new knowledge often identifies an unknown relative or dear one whom the hero should cherish but was about to harm or has just harmed.

9 Catastrophe and Pathos
Catastrophe: scene of death or moral destruction of the protagonist The catastrophe creates the climax of the plot Pathos: Scenes of suffering  catastrophe also creates pathos.

10 Boromir as Tragic Hero Tragic flaw: Reversal: Recognition:
desire to defend people of Gondor/make father proud/pride/self-doubt Reversal: Frodo? What have I done? Please, Frodo. I’m sorry! Recognition: Forgive me, I did not see. I have failed you all.

11 Boromir as Tragic Hero Pathos: Catharsis:
Sorrow over trying to take Ring; 3 arrows taken in defense of Pippin and Merry Catharsis: Audience’s response to Boromir’s death, as modeled by Aragorn

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