A Concept Of Tragedy In Sophocles's Othello And Fences

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Tragedy Aristotle developed a Concept of Tragedy using Sophocles’s plays and other tragedies. He defined tragedy as “an imitation of an action of high importance, complete and of some amplitude; in language enhanced by distinct and varying beauties; acted not narrated; by means of pity and fear effecting its purgation of these emotions.” (Kennedy and Gioia 1160). The main character in a tragedy is called the tragic hero. According to Aristotle, the tragic hero has certain qualities that made them a tragic hero. These qualities were, a tragic flaw, a high estate, effect purgation, experience a reversal, and at some point, realize that he/she cannot escape fate. The plays “Othello” and “Fences” are both tragedies, and the two tragic heroes, …show more content…
Aristotle said that a tragic hero has to have certain qualities. Throughout the play Othello’s qualities were easy to spot. His jealous personality was clearly his tragic flaw. His jealousy is what lead him to believe that his wife was having an affair and in the end killing her. Troy Maxson’s tragic flaw was that he was stubborn and jealous that his son had an opportunity that he never did. Othello was a military general, who was highly respected by the government. Troy Maxson was respected by his co-workers because he was the first black man to drive a garbage truck. This was another quality that Aristotle said a tragic hero must have. The next quality was “effect purgation.” Othello was accused of stealing his wife from her father. He was able to convince the Duke of his true love for Desdemona. It was a little different in the play “Fences,” Troy was accused of having an affair, and it proved to be true. When Troy was confronted about the affair, he told his wife that he was having a baby with another woman, instead of trying to keep the affair a secret. I don't believe Troy ever felt bad about losing his son, I think he just accepted the fact that he was gone. Othello however, felt so horrible about killing his wife over a suspected “affair,” that he ended up killing himself. Othello only had two options, be stripped of his title, put on trial and live with the guilt, or kill himself. The plays …show more content…
Even though the plays were written almost 400 years apart, they still followed the same concept. Aristotle’s concept has set the stage for tragedy and many authors follow that concept. Troy Maxson and Othello could not have been portrayed any better as a tragic hero than they were in the plays. Shakespeare and Wilson, the authors of the two plays lived in completely different times, but the similarities in their plays is amazing. It shows the importance in Aristotle’s concept of tragedy and how it hasn't changed in over 400

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