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 onesA 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 prosperousUnwittingly 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 heroCan 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 protagonistThe catastrophe creates the climax of the plotPathos: 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-doubtReversal: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 MerryCatharsis:Audience’s response to Boromir’s death, as modeled by Aragorn