Greek tragedies, something is rotten in Denmark, Quebec

Greek tragedies have a structure.

Here is the structure of a typical tragedy (some tragedies have one more or one less episode and stasimon)3:

  • Prologue
  • Parodos
  • First Episode
  • First Stasimon
  • Second Episode
  • Second Stasimon
  • Third Episode
  • Third Stasimon
  • Fourth Episode
  • Fourth Stasimon
  • Exodos

life isn’t always like that. You think something is finished and then it comes back and you just have to deal with it in another form.

Mimesis and catharsis

Main articles: Mimesis and Catharsis

As already mentioned, Aristotle wrote the first critical study of the tragedy: the Poetics. He uses the concepts of mimesis (μίμησις, “imitation”), and catharsis or katharsis (κάθαρσις, “cleansing”) to explain the function of tragedy. He writes: “Tragedy is, therefore, an imitation (mimēsis) of a noble and complete action […] which through compassion and fear produces purification of the passions.”[22] Whereas mimēsis implies an imitation of human affairs, catharsis means a certain emotional cleansing of the spectator. What exactly is meant by “emotional cleansing” (κάθαρσις των παθήματων) however, remains unclear throughout the work. Although many scholars have attempted to define this element vital to the understanding of Aristotle’s Poetics, they remain divided on the subject.[23]

Gregory, for instance, argues that there is “a close relationship between tragic katharsis and the transformation of pity and fear […] into essentially pleasurable emotions in the theater”.

Katharsis, on this reading, will denote the overall ethical benefit that accrues from such an intense yet fulfillingly integrated experience. Exempt from the stresses that accompany pity and fear in social life, the audience of tragedy can allow these emotions an uninhibited flow that … is satisfyingly attuned to its contemplation of the rich human significance of a wellplotted play. A katharsis of this kind is not reducible to either ‘‘purgation’’ or ‘‘purification.’’ [24]

Lear [23] promotes as “the most sophisticated view of katharsis”, the idea that it “provides an education for the emotions.” “Tragedy … provides us with the appropriate objects towards which to feel pity or fear.”

The three unities

The three Aristotelian unities of drama are the unities of time, place and action.

  1. Unity of action: a play should have one main action that it follows, with no or few subplots.
  2. Unity of place: a play should cover a single physical space and should not attempt to compress geography, nor should the stage represent more than one place.
  3. Unity of time: the action in a play should take place over no more than 24 hours.

seeing the bad guy lose it cathartic. we all want justice.

Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

Shakespeare Quick Quotes

Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.- Hamlet (1.4.90), Marcellus to Horatio

This line spoken by Marcellus (and not Hamlet as is commonly believed) is one of the most recognizable lines in all of Shakespeare’s works. Despite its fame, this line is left out of some productions of the play¹.

The quote in context

Shortly before midnight, Hamlet meets Horatio on the battlements of the castle. They wait together in the darkness. From below they hear the sound of the men in the castle laughing and dancing riotously; the King draining his “draughts of Rhenish down” (10). Hamlet explains to Horatio his dislike of such behaviour. To Hamlet, drinking to excess has ruined the whole nation, which is known abroad as a land full of drunken swine.

Horatio spots the Ghost of Hamlet’s father approaching. Hamlet calls out to the Ghost and it beckons Hamlet to leave with it. Despite the pleadings of Horatio and Marcellus, who are afraid that the apparition might be an evil entity in disguise, Hamlet agrees to follow the Ghost and the two figures disappear into the dark.

Marcellus, shaken by the many recent disturbing events and no doubt angered (as is Hamlet) by Claudius’s mismanagement of the body politic, astutely notes that Denmark is festering with moral and political corruption. Horatio replies “Heaven will direct it” (91), meaning heaven will guide the state of Denmark to health and stability.

so, I am hoping heaven will direct my health and stability.

church in Montreal

I would really like to visit Montreal Quebec one day.  more pics

don’t sit around and let your problems surround you, there are movie shows, Downtown.

About eagles11eyes

smart, athletic, musical
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