Aristotle and Oedipus

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Oedipus is a prime example of a tragidy, according to
Aristotle's definition in the "poetics". Aristotle's Poetics is considered the
first work of literary criticism in our tradition. The couple of pages in the
book mainly describe tragedy from Aristotle's point of view. He defines
tragedy as being animitation of an action that is a whole and complete in
itself and of a certainmagnitude. Aristotle also points out terms such as
catharsis, which can be said that is the purification of one's soul. He argues in
his Poetics thatcatharsis is achieved through emotions of pity or fear, which
is created in the audience as they witness the tragedy of a character who
suffers unjustly, but is not entirely innocent. Then he moves on to describing
the main elements of tragedy. Such elements are: plot, character, language,
thought, spectacle, and melody. Then he classifies these in three parts, the
media, the manner and the objects. The language and melody constitute the
"media", in which they effect the imitation. Then there is the spectacle, which
is the "manner", and the remaining three, the plot, character and thought are
the "objects" that areimitated. Aristotle considers the plot to be the most
important of theseelements. He describes the plot as not being a unity revolving around oneman. Instead, he states that many things happen to one man, which may not
always go together, to form a unity. At the same time, he says that among the
actions that a character performs there are many that may be irrelevant to one
another, but yet they form a unified action. Aristotle continues depicting the
plot categorizing it in two manners: simple and complex. In a simple plot, a
change of fortune takes place without a reversal or recognition. In contrast, in
a complex plot, the change of fortune involves recognition or a reversal or
both. T…


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