Aristotle 's Theory Of Tragedy Essay

1140 Words Sep 27th, 2015 5 Pages
“Tragedy is an imitation of an action that is complete and whole… (Aristotle 31)”. This theory conveyed by Aristotle in his renowned work Poetics expresses the idea that a successful tragedy consists of specific principles that reoccur in classic literature. The theory emphasizes that a tragedy represents reality and universal truths rather than historical particulars. This is achieved by creating a tightly-woven cause and effect chain or “unity of action” that centers around the plot rather than the personalities of the characters. Also, the plot of the tragedy should have complex, specific, and coherent turning points, that are a part of the “unity of action”. In addition, the characters in a tragedy, have specific characteristics that designate them as tragic characters. Aristotle’s theory of tragedy, based on archetypes or “reoccurring universal patterns, symbols, or characters” in classic literature, has served as the foundation of tragic theory, influencing well-known writers and playwrights in the Renaissance period and beyond. Shakespeare’s tragic drama, Romeo and Juliet, demonstrates Aristotle’s theory of tragedy through archetypes in the story’s unified structure, complex plot, and tragic characters. The plot structure of Romeo and Juliet contains an archetypal unified structure between the beginning, middle, and end as described in Aristotle’s theory of tragedy. First, the beginning of a tragedy occurs with the “incentive moment” which starts the cause and…

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