Last updated: February 12, 2019
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What Is Tragedy? Essay, Research Paper

Calamity is defined as an highly sad or fatal event or class of events ; a narrative, drama, or other literary work which arouses panic or commiseration by a series of bad lucks or sad events. The first of import calamities appeared in ancient Greece in the 400s B.C. with plants of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides. There were assorted positions of calamity and Aristotle, Richard B. Sewall, Arthur Miller, and Robert Silverberg each had their ain different positions.

Aristotle laid down the rudimentss rules of calamity in his Poeticss. He wrote that the intent of calamity was to do the audience feel commiseration and fright for the characters. Aristotle believed that calamity brought about a katharsis of his emotions. Catharsis is something that arouses grave emotions, but is non dejecting. The hero of any ancient Grecian calamity was a great adult male who suffered because of a tragic defect, or mistake in judgement. The hero was a individual of baronial stature, but was responsible for his or her ain

ruin. The autumn is a non pure loss. There is some addition in consciousness, some addition in self-knowledge, and some find on the portion of the tragic hero.

Arthur Miller s Death of a Salesman is one of his best-known dramas, but it created a large contention. I believe that the common people are as disposed topics for calamity in its highest sense as sovereigns are ( Miller 16 ) . Miller believes that the chief character does whatever he has to make to procure his personal sense of self-respect. Pride goes along with this, which is besides a major portion of many of Miller & # 8217 ; s position.

Another position of calamity, harmonizing to Arthur Miller, is the & # 8220 ; tragic defect & # 8221 ; that the chief character has. The tragic defect is the characteristic that the character has that makes him neglect, anything. The character fails because he tries to get the better of this defect, but does non win. In the past, particularly in the epoch of Sophocles and Euripedes the calamity involves royalty and the upper category, and doesn & # 8217 ; Ts have anything to make with the common adult male. Miller believes that the common adult male is equal to, if non better than royalty as the topic of a calamity.

Robert Silverberg believed that the deceases of Roger Zelazny and John Brunner provided an illustration of the significance of calamity. One decease seems to me to hold been genuinely tragic, and the other non tragic at all, but instead merely a damned shame ( Silverberg 4 ) . He believed that the word calamity was overworked. School battles, traffic accidents, and AIDS are all illustrations of calamities, but they are non a traditional calamity in literary footings. Greeks defined calamity as a hero who tries to accomplish a great thing, but fails because of a defect in their character. The audience besides experienced a katharsis.

Silverberg believed that Shakespeare knew the significance of calamity besides. He compa

ruddy King Lear, Othello, Macbeth, Prometheus, Agamemnon, and Oedipus to the lives of Roger and John. This that the life and decease of one of these work forces fulfills the demands of classical calamity, and one does non ( Silverberg 8 ) . Roger was the happy adult male who led a happy life. His decease was dry and could non be considered as a calamity in literary footings. John s diminution, which came from bad picks and bad wellness, led to his ruin.

Richard B. Sewall explained his position of calamity in The Tragic Form. Tragedy makes certain distinguishable and characteristic avowals, every bit good as denials, about the universe and the adult male s relation to it ; the nature of the person and his relation to himself ; the person in society ; ( Sewall 166 ) . Cosmos is the theory of the existence and humanity s relationship to it. Writers of calamities assumed the being of a power beyond humanity, such as God. Good and immoralities were both forces in universe. Calamities were more concerned with evil, but the belief in good kept the hero from giving up.

Sewall calls the tragic adult male a paradox, something that seems contrary to common sense and yet may however be true. He is ever in the center of a delicate balance between opposing conditions. The tragic adult male is besides fractious, stubbornly disobedient of authorization or restraint, hard to pull off. His refractoriness is a consequence of his pride, which allows him to believe in his freedom, artlessness, and uncommon sense.

The tragic character ever protests, seting himself against something. He puts himself in a place that forces him to travel up against whatever would thwart him. The character accepts his struggle and goes through a stage Sewall calls the character s perceptual experience. He proceeds, suffers, and in his agony learns ( Sewall 174 ) . Through his experiences, the tragic character is elevated to a degree above ordinary people.

I believe that a calamity is anything that has a awful result. It concerns a series of unhappy events that normally end in catastrophe. I can hold with any of these old positions on certain parts, particularly Aristotle since he laid down the rudimentss of a calamity. Richard B. Sewall s position was a small different than the other authors, but they still all had common beliefs. Each believed in pride and some kind of tragic defect. I don t know if the word calamity is overworked though, like Silverberg idea. Miller s position that the character fails because he tries to get the better of a tragic defect, but does non win is besides a significance of calamity to me.

Everyone is entitled to their ain their sentiments and positions. Each of these authors had their ain positions, but had the Grecian definition of calamity in common. If you ask anyone what calamity means, they will likely state when something bad happens. Now we can see that there is more to it than that.