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Sunday, June 14, 2015

Tragedy, Oedipus Rex and Medea

A tragedy according to Aristotle in his book 'Poetics' is an enactment of a deed that is important and complete, and of certain magnitude, by means of language enriched with ornaments each used separately in the different parts of the play. It is enacted, not merely recited and through pity and fear it effects relief i.e. catharsis to such and similar emotions. It's origin lie in the theatre of ancient Greece. Works that have survived through 2500 years are those of Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides. Shakespeare as well as several playwrights have used this form of drama. Tragedy consists of six important elements they are: Plot (mythos), Character (ethos), Thought (dianoia), Diction (lexis), Melody (melos) and Spectacle (ohsis).
Oedipus Rex is a tragedy by Sophocles. The play is considered a tragedy as it arouses editions of pity and fear. The protagonist undergoes catharsis and suffers due to hamartia (tragic error). The play also shows a downfall of the protagonist due to his pride. The tragic flaw of Oedipus is his hubris (excessive pride). His unwillingness to accept his fate to kill his father and then marry his mother led him to do the thing he feared the most.
Medea is a Greek tragedy by Euripides.The reversal of mood is an important part of the play.
This play is different from Oedipus Rex as Medea does not feel guilty after she kills many people including her sons. Her main aim is revenge no matter who the person is. She commits crime so that her husband Jason may suffer in grief. Her hamartia is passionate vengefulness because in the end everyone suffers except her whereas in Oedipus Rex the tragic hero Oedipus suffers along with his entire kingdom.

By Daphne Pearl De Souza

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