An overview of the aristotelian tragedy in macbeth a play by william shakespeare

It, too, is a history play in a sense, dealing with a non-Christian civilization existing 16 centuries before Shakespeare wrote his plays. Roman history opened up for Shakespeare a world in which divine purpose could not be easily ascertained. The characters of Julius Caesar variously interpret the great event of the assassination of Caesar as one in which the gods are angry or disinterested or capricious or simply not there.

An overview of the aristotelian tragedy in macbeth a play by william shakespeare

Focusing on the human form during Mediaeval times would have been impossible as it would have been a distraction from the necessary focus on God.

The result was a new realism in the representation of human beings in art. That he could, in one play, Othello, written four hundred years ago, represent what we can recognise as a modern psychopath and a modern alcoholic, in Iago and Cassio respectively, is incredible. Iago is a fully realised physochological character just as the David is a fully realized man physically.

The Greek philosopher, Aristotle, defined tragedy and asserted that it was the noblest and most serious, dignified and important form of drama.


In his Poetics Aristotle outlines tragedy as follows: The protagonist is someone of high estate; a prince or a king. He is like us — perhaps a bit different in his level of nobility so that we can both identify with him and admire him as a man as well as respect him for his high estate.

This can take the form of an obsession. The flaw is often part of his greatness but it also causes his downfall. The flaw causes the protagonist to make mistakes and misjudgments. That in turn begins to alienate him from his supporters so that he becomes isolated. He begins to fall from his high level.

He struggles to regain his position but fails and he comes crashing down. He eventually recognises his mistakes, but too late.

An important aspect is the suffering he undergoes, which the audience observes and identifies with. It can be seen as a modern psychological drama about a psychopath who manipulates everyone around him just for fun — just because he has nothing better to do — and destroying other human beings gives him pleasure or is necessary because they get in his way.

Othello may seem to have a fatal flaw — too trusting, gullible — but so do all the other characters, because Iago has deceived them all with his psychopathic charm and a deliberate effort of making himself appear trustworthy. Every misjudgment Othello makes is the hard work of Iago.

The feeling at the end is not quite Aristotle either. Perhaps it is more of a disgust for Iago than pity for Othello, who comes across as more stupid than tragic.

And to make things more complicated, our feeling of pity is directed more to Desdamona. And yet some teachers miss the meaning of this play by their insistence on teaching it as an Aristotelian tragedy.

While Othello appears to fit the Aristotelian pattern because of the huge charisma of Othello at the beginning of the play Antony and Cleopatra cannot fit it in any shape or form.

An overview of the aristotelian tragedy in macbeth a play by william shakespeare

In tragedy the focus is on the mind and inner struggle of the protagonist. The emotional information comes to the audience from that source. That is exactly what happens in Antony and Cleopatraso we have something very different from a Greek tragedy. What we have is a miracle — a tragic feeling coming out of a comic structure.

So what is Shakespearean tragedy? Perhaps there is no such thing. And yet we can identify a tragic feeling and even a cathartic effect in some of the plays.

Enjoying "Oedipus the King" by Sophocles

We must look elsewhere for our understanding of them.William Shakespeare - Julius Caesar: Written in (the same year as Henry V) or , probably for the opening of the Globe Theatre on the south bank of the Thames, Julius Caesar illustrates similarly the transition in Shakespeare’s writing toward darker themes and tragedy.

It, too, is a history play in a sense, dealing with a non-Christian . Aristotelian Tragedy: Macbeth Aristotle is known widely for developing his ideas on tragedy. He recorded these ideas in his Poetics in which he comments on the plot, purpose, and effect that a true tragedy must have.

In the play Macbeth, Macbeth is a perfect example of a tragic hero. Is Macbeth a Tragedy? How Does William . Enjoying "Oedipus the King", by Sophocles Ed Friedlander MD [email protected] This website collects no information. If you e-mail me, neither your e-mail address nor any other information will ever be passed on to any third party, unless required by law.

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General characteristics

Dec 21,  · The Audience’s Perception of Macbeth As one reads the play Macbeth, by William Shakespeare, they could not fail to notice the evolution of the main character, Macbeth, and his tragic fall from a once proud man to the scourge of his kingdom. Aristotelian Tragedy Macbeth; Parallels Between Macbeth and Satan in Macbeth by William.

Dramatic literature, the texts of plays that can be read, as distinct from being seen and heard in performance.. The term dramatic literature implies a contradiction in that literature originally meant something written and drama meant something of the problems, and much of the interest, in the study of dramatic literature stem from this contradiction.

William Shakespeare - Julius Caesar |