Essay on Oedipus The King Is An Ideal Tragedy

899 Words Sep 30th, 2016 4 Pages
Written in a matter-of-fact tone, Aristotle’s Poetics focuses on the key components of the best tragedies, when speaking of plays. A classical tragedy is the story of a hero who experiences a reversal of fortune set in motion by the gods as a result of hubris. Oedipus the King is a prime example of a classical tragedy. This drama of suspense observes the fall of ignorance in the face of knowledge. The suspense of how Oedipus will discover what he has done, and how he will respond to this terrible new knowledge are common tools in the production of tragedy. Using Aristotle’s Poetics, Oedipus the King is an ideal tragedy with its inclusion of a chorus, a well-constructed plot, and a complex plot.
“A well-constructed plot, therefore, will neither begin at some chance point nor end at some chance point, but will observe the principles here stated” states Aristotle (Poetics 1150). These principles are simple facts; a plot is not actions of one man alone, and a plot must “tell of such things as might happen, things that are possibilities by virtue of being in themselves inevitable or probable”, (Poetics 1150). The mythical background to the play, Oedipus the King, makes it a drama of suspense rather than surprise. How Oedipus discovers the truth and his response is what the audience awaits. Noticeably, Sophocles tells of things that have been and of such things as they might occur through all the characters. For example, as the play opens, the Priest and Oedipus speaking of the…

Related Documents