Aristotle 's Definition Of Tragedy : Medea Or Oedipus Rex? Essay examples

1272 Words Jan 5th, 2016 6 Pages
Grace Wang
December 18, 2015

Tragedy Essay

Which is the better tragedy, according to Aristotle’s definition of tragedy: Medea or Oedipus Rex?

According to Aristotle’s definition, a tragic hero is a distinguished person occupying a high position, living in a prosperous life and falling into misfortune due to his own tragic flaw which consequently leads to his reversal and late recognition. Medea and Oedipus Rex are both one of the best classical and well known examples of tragedy. Oedipus Rex fits Aristotle’s conception of tragedy to a better extent with startling accuracy; he is a nobleman who had fallen from his estate due to his inherent pride, whose fate instills strong pity and fear in the audience, and who realized he is the one that caused all his downfall and suffering from the end. Oedipus Rex fully meets all of the characteristics of a tragic hero, so this tragedy richly deserves the title as “the better tragedy”.

Pity and fear are two major ingredients that make a play or a story a tragedy. According to Aristotle 's idea, the audience should develop a strong emotional attachment to the tragic hero, fears what had already happened to the hero would actually happen to their life, and after the extreme misfortune strikes, the audience pities the suffering hero. Medea is very different from Oedipus; I tend to take more pity and fear on Oedipus than on Medea mainly due to the fact that Oedipus cannot change his fate - he is a person locked in by his own destiny.…

Related Documents