Aristotle's Notion Of Tragedy: Sophocles' Oedipus The King

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Aristotle's notion of tragedy: Sophocles' Oedipus the King


The most important original source of antiquity which deals with the tragedy is Aristotle's Poetics, a work that represents a significant aspect of what should be a general theory of Poesies, i.e. of Creativity. According to Aristotle, tragedy is the representation of a serious action. The term imitation is, in principle, an ambiguous meaning, since at the time there was no clear distinction between create images, imitate, or express something. However, when Aristotle spoke of representation of an action, it expresses the sense of a claim, which is not a copy or imitation of an action. The concept of Art as Representation comes from Plato, and this term is used as to make believe, pretending, believes, and intend. However, representation must understand, not a mere copy of reality, but a way of re-creation of this act that constitutes life (Foley, 1-30).

However, the concept of representation is enriched in their deployment and further development: at first, the term designates a certain kind of style: the dramatic-representative as opposed to narrative. Then take a moral value, as the style is the expression of the soul, and influences, and is used to describe an imitation or assimilation of manners and respect the character and conduct (Foley, 1-30).


Aristotle work possesses essential features of tragedy that must awaken in man “Eleos” and “Phobos”, terms that have meanings as “Mercy” and “Fear” respectively. However, the term usually Eleos is conceived as a synonym for pity or compassion. Actually, it would be more appropriate to relate to the feeling of shock. However, there notion gets highlighted that it takes me a strange dread long forgotten all the weight human suffering binds me. This sentiment is closely linked to Pathos, everything that you experience or feel suffering, misery, passion or misfortune. However, for the truly tragic suffering is considered, must necessarily involve the sympathy. Moreover, for Aristotle, the concept of Eleos addition, there is another essential feature of the tragic and the feeling of Phobos is usually translated as fear or dread (Lesky, 78-85).

Furthermore, for Aristotle the experience of these feelings is produced in line with the identification with the hero. Eleos and Phobos are part of an extremely virtuous man, whose misfortune has befallen him, not by vice or depravity by, but by some error of judgment, as is the case of those who enjoy great reputation and prosperity, for example, Oedipus, Thyestes, and the men of illustrious family prestige (Lesky, 78-85).

Centered on the background of the myth of the clan shares the tragedy of Sophocles' Oedipus the King as it starts from the plague in Thebes and the attempts to appease the gods, to help overcome the disaster. Oedipus tries to discover the truth which gets send by a messenger for counsel to the Delphic oracle. In time he learns that he is guilty of the tragedy of the inhabitants of Thebes. Drama ends when Oedipus, who is already aware of everything, wylupia his eyes and condemned to exile ...
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