Tragedy In Sophocles's Oedipus Rex

917 Words4 Pages
Aristotle was a Greek philosopher and polymath has written many theories about tragedy in the poetics. The poetics was composed fifty years after the death of Sophocles. His play Oedipus Rex was especially admired by Aristotle; he called it the perfect tragedy. A tragedy is play dealing with tragic events and resulting in an unhappy ending; specifically the downfall of the main character. It is known as a drama or literary piece of work; the main character is brought to ruin or suffers extreme sorrow, usually as result of their own actions. The characters experience pain as a consequence of a tragic flaw, moral weakness, or inability to cope with unfavourable circumstances. Aristotle explains tragedy as an imitation of action, which evokes…show more content…
Therefore he puts a tragedy into six groups so as to clearly show the play is a tragedy. Plot, Characters, Diction, Thought, Spectacle and Melody are the six parts of a tragedy. A tragedy is a drama not a narrative, in other words it is showing not telling. Also it is more philosophical than historical. It often teaches the audience valuable life lessons as the can see themselves in the positions of the characters. This mimesis play is referred to as a chain reaction or compared to that of a fortune wheel, it gambles with the fate of the main character. It is a game of chance. Plot can be defined as action, however, Aristotle defines plot as “the arrangement of the incidents”. A plot is not the story but the way the incidents occur and, the structure of the play. How the action is plotted will determine the outcome. These chains of events strongly depend on the characteristics and personality of the protagonist, thus a domino effect occurs. The play Oedipus Rex is a perfect example as in a sequence you observe the rise and fall of Oedipus. An action, reaction and conclusion takes place, in other words a plot must have a beginning, middle and an end. The beginning of the plot starts the chain of effects
Open Document