Aristotelian and Neo-Classical Tragedy

Aristotle (384-322 B.C.), probably the greatest teacher who ever lived, set out in his Poetics, a rigid framework of rules for classical drama

He defined the six necessary ‘ingredients’ as:    

  1. Plot
  2. Character
  3. Diction (i.e. high/noble language)
  4. Thought
  5. Visual spectacle (but no violence on stage)
  6. Song (e.g. choral element)

He suggested there must also be:

  1. A calamity/catastrophe
  2. Characters should be nobler than ourselves and undergo:
  3. Reversal (peripeteia) of fortune, leading to:
  4. A revelation/realization (recognition that something has been disguised) and which causes:
  5. Pathos (suffering).

The function of the tragedy was to lead to catharsis (purification).

The hero should contain a flaw (hamartia) in his character which causes his downfall.

Aristotle also said that ideally tragedy should be unified in place and time; all its parts work to one end and all events should occur/fall within 24 hours.

Aristotle’s rules became rigid prescriptions for tragedy but eventually it was realised that the rules were rather too rigid and it was considered that thematic links could instead provide the necessary unity. 

Shakespeare adopted many of Aristotle’s rules but was also influenced by Seneca and the demands of Elizabethan tastes which expected: 

  • exaggerated rhetoric
  • bloodthirsty details
  • ghosts 
  • magic

Violence was no longer merely reported - i.e. mentioned on stage by various characters - but became part of the action.

Plays were more psychological: not dependent on plot or unities, and stock ingredients often included:

  • The quest for vengeance
  • Real or feigned insanity
  • Play within a play
  • Scenes in graveyards
  • Severed limbs and heads; scenes of carnage and mutilation.

If you are studying Aristotle in high school or college, remember that to fulfill our mission of educating students, our homework help center is standing by 24/7, ready to assist you.

Get College Homework Help.

Are you sure you don't want to upload any files?

Fast tutor response requires as much info as possible.

Decision:
Upload a file
Continue without uploading

SUBMIT YOUR HOMEWORK
We couldn't find that subject.
Please select the best match from the list below.
For faster response, you may skip assigning directly to a tutor to receive the first tutor available.
That tutor may not be available for several hours. Please try another tutor if you're in a hurry.

We'll send you an email right away. If it's not in your inbox, check your spam folder.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
Get help from a qualified tutor

Latest News

Read All News
September 16, 2019

Question of the Week

If an address bus needs to be able to address four devices, how many conductors will be required?  What if each of those devices also needs to be able to talk back to the I/O control device? The solution of the previous question of the week can be seen below. The maximum aggregate I/O transfer rate of the system is equal to: 700Kbystes/s + 700 Kbytes...
READ MORE
August 16, 2019

Machine Learning

24HourAnswers now offers college homework help and online tutoring in Machine Learning. To learn more about the subject or request a session with one of our tutors, please view our subject page Machine Learning  
READ MORE
Live Chats