Additional reading assignment – read by Monday, September 8thFall 2008 Introduction to TheatreSusanna RinehartAristotle’s Definition of Tragedy:Aristotle said that the “tragic vision” conceives of human beings as being capable of transcendent greatness and abject (complete) defeat at one and the same time. Human beings, then, can be both vulnerable andinvincible at the same moment. This seems like it is a contradiction, like it is impossible – given thatinvincible and vulnerable are exact opposites of one another. However, that is exactly what Aristotle was getting at. Often, in our moments of greatest triumph and courage, we are also at our most mortal and vulnerable. Perhaps we are physically vulnerable and defeated in a certain moment; but our courage, our spirit lives beyond our struggle. Think of someone like Martin Luther King, Jr. He was literallyvulnerable and was defeated (assassinated); however, he was “transcendently great” and “invincible” in that his struggle and what he fought for lived long after he died.
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