Alisa_Ivanovskaya_-_7-Aristotles_Tragic_Hero_Applied_to_Oedipus

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Aristotle and the Tragic Hero Aristotle's ideas about tragedy were recorded in his book of literary theory titled Poetics . In it, he has a great deal to say about the structure, purpose, and intended effect of tragedy. His ideas have been adopted, disputed, expanded, and discussed for several centuries now. The following is a summary of his basic ideas regarding the tragic hero: 1. The tragic hero is a character of noble stature and has greatness. This should be readily evident in the play. The character must occupy a "high" status position but must ALSO embody nobility and virtue as part of his/her innate character. 2. Though the tragic hero is pre-eminently great, he/she is not perfect. Otherwise, the rest of us--mere mortals--would be unable to identify with the tragic hero. We should see in him or her someone who is essentially like us, although perhaps elevated to a higher position in society. 3. The hero's downfall, therefore, is partially her/his own fault, the result of free choice, not of accident or villainy or some overriding, malignant fate. In fact, the

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