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Word Count: 1,482
Greek philosopher Aristotle proposes components of an ideal tragedy in his work Tragedy and the Emotions of Pity and Fear According to Aristotle there are six components of a great tragedy plot character thought verbal expression song and visual adornment He dissects these components in great detail and provides standards for all of them In his play Bacchae Euripides resembles much of Aristotles components of an ideal tragedy Euripides has only few deviations from the Aristotelian tragedy To Aristotle a tragedy is defined as an imitation of action and life not of an imitation of men Therefore he places higher emphasis the role of plot in a tragedy rather than the role of character He describes the species and components of a plot in great detail For completeness a plot must have a beginning middle and an end A plot should be structured so that every part is necessary for completeness The elements of a plot are peripety recognition and pathos Peripety is a change in fortune recognition is a change from ignorance to knowledge and pathos is a destructive or painful act Furthermore Aristotle states that a tragedy is not merely an imitation of actions but of events inspiring fear and pity Such an effect is best produced when events are surprising yet at the same time they logically follow one another A well-constructed plot should therefore not have a change of fortune from bad to good but on the other hand from good to bad A good plot should leave an audience feeling pity and fear To produce this effect actions must happen between those who are near or dear to one another For example a brother killing a father leaves a more impressionable feeling than an enemy killing an enemy does Although Aristotle feels that a good tragedy arouses solemn emotion an audience should not be left in a state of depression Both the characters and the audience should
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