Of a bad man passing from adversity to prosperity for

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of a bad man passing from adversity to prosperity, for nothing can be more alien to me spirit of tragedy; it possesses no tragic quality, it neither satisfies the moral sense, no calls forth pity or fear. Nor should the downfall of the utter villain be exhibited. A plot of this kind would doubtless, satisfy the moral sense, but it would inspire neither pity no fear, for pity is aroused by unmerited misfortune, and fear by the misfortune of a person like ourselves. Such an event, therefore, will be neither pitiful nor terrible. There remains, then, the character between these two extremes-that of a man who is not eminently good and just, yet whose misfortune is brought about not by vice or depravity, but by some error or frailty. He must be one who is highly renowned and prosperous..." According to Aristotle, the expectation of a tragedy consists of the arousal of the emotions of pity and terror in the audience. He also states that "pity and fear are related to action and character." We have already detailed the correlations between the plot(action) in Macbeth and Aristotle's "Poetics", now, we must determine if the character Macbeth is a tragic hero according to Aristotle's "The Essential Nature of Tragedy". In Aristotle's "Poetics" he describes the attributes of a tragic hero. In the excerpt above it mentions "...the character between these two extremes...". Basically a good man of elevated stature: if he's evil, his fall
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won't be pitiable or tragic. If he's a commoner, his fall won't be grand enough. The figure of Macbeth seems to resemble this position. In the beginning of the play there is strong evidence that Macbeth is a good man. In Act I, Scene ii his courage is highly praised. The bloody soldier obviously admires his captain, and Duncan is moved when he is told of Macbeth's exploits. Shown in such diction as "brave Macbeth" and "noble Macbeth". One of the essential natures of a tragic hero according to Aristotle's definition of tragedy is the Reversal of Fortune. The hero must undergo a change of fortune from prosperity (emotional and/or material) to adversity. This reversal is also known as a tragic fall. Aristotle continues, this reversal must come about not by chance or as deserved retribution for evil deeds, but from some hamartia, variously translated as 'error in judgment' or 'tragic flaw': that is, some aspect of the hero's character that in itself is praiseworthy--but in excess, destructive. Macbeth gains sympathy from the audience due to his demeanor in the beginning of the play. He relates to the listeners from his reaction to the witc
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Christopher Reinemann
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