Classical And Modern Tragedy Analysis

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In order to understand the concept of tragedy and the tragic both in Classical and
Modern tragedy, one must analyse the views of Aristotle, the father of tragedy and a modern tragedy playwright Arthur Miller. In my opinion, Raymond Williams view of modern tragedy as ‘the conflict between an individual and the forces that destroy him’ is very accurate and roots of this can be seen in the classical tragedy. According to Aristotle 'A perfect tragedy ' should be arranged 'not on the simple but on the complex plan ', with a 'dramatic rather than narrative form ' and should 'imitate actions which excite pity and fear ' to accomplish a Catharsis. This is, in fact, the definition of the tragedy that has been used since Ancient Greece and although it
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A big difference between classical and modern tragedy is the class of characters that are present in the play. In classical tragedies, mostly royal and elite families were presented to the audience and in his book Raymond Williams commented that ‘some deaths mattered more than others, and the rank was the actual dividing line’ (Modern Tragedy 49).
However, this is no longer the case in modern tragedies as at some point, the middle class began to reject this and realised that ’the tragedy of a citizen could be as real as the tragedy of a prince’’. This resulted in the complete change of the view of tragedy as the tragic hero was no longer the result of the downfall of everything. What was once a connection between the man, state and the world became a ‘’purely abstract order’’ (Modern Tragedy
50). This change can be seen in modern tragedy as Arthur Miller believed that 'the common man is apt a subject for tragedy in its highest sense as kings were ' (Tragedy and the
Common man). A modern tragedy now adds irony to Aristotle 's idea of a true tragedy, by reducing once-heroic tragic figures to the size of ordinary humans and their everyday struggles and peripeteia’s. We can witness this in Miller’s most
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They were commonly used all throughout the play and usually revealed the hidden clues as what is about to happen next. We can see this in Shakespeare’s multiple plays where, for example, the villain is plotting against the tragic hero. In ‘Othello’ we can see this being done with vicious Iago who reveals his cruel plans for Cassio and Othello before the action takes place. With the simplification of the language in the contemporary world, there is no need for long monologues as what needed to be said and expressed that took about a page in the classical play, can now be summarised into two simple sentences.
In conclusion, Aristotle’s ideas about tragedy and the tragic changed due to the progress of human education and modernisation. The Classical tragedy being seen as having one timespan, one setting, and one story -- as they originated in the Greek theatre evolved into a tragedy that redefines the genre. The modern tragedy now includes ordinary people like us who seek their purpose in life. We are able to witness the journey of an individual who is fighting with the forces that want to destroy him whether it is his or her own mind and conscience, someone that

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