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Oedipus is a prime example of a tragidy according to Aristotles definition in the poetics Aristotles Poetics is considered the first work of literary criticism in our tradition The couple of pages in the book mainly describe tragedy from Aristotles point of view He defines tragedy as being an imitation of an action that is a whole and complete in itself and of a certain magnitude Aristotle also points out terms such as catharsis which can be said that is the purification of ones soul He argues in his Poetics that catharsis 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 are imitated Aristotle considers the plot to be the most important of these elements He describes the plot as not being a unity revolving around one man 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 To understand these ideas better he defines
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