Essay about Oedipus Rex and Aristotle

897 Words May 5th, 2008 4 Pages
The Six Elements of a Tragedy in “Oedipus Rex” Aristotle’s “The Poetics” describes the process of a tragedy. It is not the guide per se of writing a tragedy but is the idea’s Aristotle collected while studying tragedies. A tragedy, according to Aristotle, consists of six major points. The first and most important is the plot, which is what all the other points are based on. Such points are: character, language, thought, melody, and spectacle (Aristotle). A prime example of the usage of these parts in a tragic drama is evident in Sophocles’ “Oedipus Rex”. The plot of a tragedy usually consists of a tragic hero’s fall from grace. Aristotle describes plot in two ways a simple plot and a complex one. In a simple plot a fall from …show more content…
The spectacle of the play occurs when Oedipus recieves news that his wife has hung her self. Although the hanging takes place off set the spectacle presented allows the audience to feel the emotions running through Oedipus. Aristotle’s analysis of a tragedy in “The Poetics” is a perfect fit with Sophocles’ “Oedipus Rex”. All six elements of a tragedy are well represented in the poem. The plot is complex and supported by the character and language. The character is in turn supported by the thought and language. Spectacle and melody help unify the plot with the rest of the drama. A tragedy, in Aristotle’s eyes, consists of a complex plot with a noble characters fall from prosperity to adversity. The readers should feel sympathy and fear toward the main character. The character’s flaws will bring about the climatic fall and allow the character to recognize the flaw. All of these are represented in “Oedipus Rex” making it a perfect tragedy.

Works Cited
Aristotle. "Poetics." (2000). MagillOnLiterature Plus. EBSCO. Jackson State Community College. 27 Apr. 2008 <>. Lewin, Jennifer. "An overview of Oedipus Rex." Drama for Students. Detroit: Gale. Literature Resource Center. Gale. Jackson State Community College. 27 Apr. 2008 <>.

"Overview: Rhetoric and the Poetics." Gale Online Encyclopedia. Detroit: Gale, Literature Resource Center. Gale.

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