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The Aristotle's Paradigm

Sophocles' drama is a perfect example of Aristotle's paradigm. Aristotle states that tragedy is "drama whose main characters are noble, and the chief point of tragedy is to show how a person's fortune can change because of circumstances that are-or may sometimes seem to be-beyond his or her control." After reading Oedipus Tyrannus it is obvious that all the above is followed. First of all, Oedipus and the majority of the characters are noble. This is so because when the audience sees that even the worse can happen to someone even in grand height and social stature then it can certainly happen to them too. The drama also has Oedipus fall be out of his control. He tried to control the situation by abandoning who he believed were his parents in order to prevent the prophecy of the oracle from occurring. Unfortunately, it was meant to happen and poor Oedipus killed his father with his own hands and married his mother. Also, Aristotle argued that a tragedy should "evoke two emotions: terror and pity." Once again Sophocles' drama also follows this. The terror comes from the fact that this situation was beyond his control, even as king, so even those with the power are at risk. The pity is felt for Oedipus, Jocasta, and all the family because it is a hurtful and shameful situation for everyone.

Furthermore, the two essential concepts, peripety and recognition, central to tragedy are present. Aristotle believes that these are very important in a tragedy. In Oedipus Tyrannus these two concepts occur simultaneously. Only after Oedipus had left his family in Corinth to flee the oracle's prophecy and married his mother, taking his biological father's place did he realize that he had already done in ignorance what the oracle had foreseen. The criminal that he was looking for murdering Laius was no one else but himself. At this moment recognition and peripety (sudden change from good fortune to unexpected actions leading to damnation) occur.

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The Aristotle's Paradigm. (1969, December 31). In DirectEssays.com. Retrieved 23:50, October 31, 2014, from http://www.directessays.com/viewpaper/74033.html