Influences on Aristotle’s Rhetoric by Plato and Isocrates

What does it mean to be human? We are “decision-making creatures capable of overruling [their] own instincts.” It naturally follows that those tools which enable humans to exhibit these unique characteristics are the most essential to human existence and evolution. For thousands of years, Rhetoric has proved to be this ubiquitous tool. Rhetoric is a … Read moreInfluences on Aristotle’s Rhetoric by Plato and Isocrates

The First Aristotelian Tragedy: Oedipus Rex

Aristotle’s passage Poetics (350 BC) was written the century after the composition of Sophocles Oedipus the King (428 BC). Despite their chronological separation, the two texts relate in incisive ways. In particular, Aristotle used Oedipus as the foundation for his explanation theory. For Aristotle, a tragedy must have certain characteristics that Oedipus the King contains … Read moreThe First Aristotelian Tragedy: Oedipus Rex

Aristotle’s Poetics in Shakespeare’s King Lear

According to Aristotle in his book Poetics, the cathartic effects of a tragedy are its purpose, which is mediated through its form. An examination of Shakespeare’s King Lear in relation to the Aristotelian elements of tragedy – focusing on his compliance with Plot and inversion of Thought – will demonstrate how the playwright preserves the … Read moreAristotle’s Poetics in Shakespeare’s King Lear

Oedipus the King as Interpreted by Sophocles, Aristotle and Sigmund Freud

Considered by many as the greatest of classic Greek tragedies, Oedipus the King (“Oedipus Tyrannus”) by Sophocles (495?–406 B.C.E) is set in the remoteness of ancient Greece and has come down to us in the form of a tragic myth allegedly inspired by true events and actual characters. Yet to the people of ancient Athens, … Read moreOedipus the King as Interpreted by Sophocles, Aristotle and Sigmund Freud

Price of Freedom: An Analysis of the Motivations of Different Tennessee Williams Characters with Respect to Aristotelian Definitions of Character and the Struggle between Duty and Desire

Tennessee Williams’s paradoxical nature as an individual can be seen at many different points throughout his life. Described as “enigmatic” by both his contemporaries and biographers, the prolific playwright seems to have translated this quality into many of his most celebrated characters (Woo 1). Two classic examples of this contradictory nature are Tom from The … Read morePrice of Freedom: An Analysis of the Motivations of Different Tennessee Williams Characters with Respect to Aristotelian Definitions of Character and the Struggle between Duty and Desire

Aristotelian Spectacle Shown Through Beds in the Plays of Tennessee Williams

An extremely specific author, Tennessee Williams is known for his elaborate and in-depth descriptions of sets, costumes, sound, and general staging, often appearing to have the last detail written out in his seemingly endless supply of stage directions. This descriptive style would, at first, make one assume that Williams’s plays do not conform to what … Read moreAristotelian Spectacle Shown Through Beds in the Plays of Tennessee Williams

Understanding Aristotle’s View of the Germans in The Night of the Iguana

UA cursory glance over some of Tennessee Williams’s most celebrated plays reveals a consistent conformity to Aristotle’s rules of tragedy as outlined in Poetics. Plays such as The Glass Menagerie and A Streetcar Named Desire showcase full plots, superb characters, a spectacle that functions in the correct manner, and all the other markings of a … Read moreUnderstanding Aristotle’s View of the Germans in The Night of the Iguana

Tragic Qualities in Sylvia Plath’s “Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams”

Considered to be blueprint for the mechanics of tragedy, Aristotle’s Poetics revolves around the assumption that great works of tragedy must include a generous number of mimetic elements, or elements which readily imitate human life. In addition, well-organized tragic plots combine both reversal of fate (peripeteia) and personal recognition (anagnorisis) that largely result from a … Read moreTragic Qualities in Sylvia Plath’s “Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams”

Aristotelian Tragedy in Henry IV Part I

Aristotle breaks down the plot of the tragedy into three parts, reversal, recognition and catharsis. Shakespeare includes all three components of plot in his play, Henry IV Part I. He establishes a tragic hero, Harry Percy, and allows him to rise to power and influence. Then at his climax comes the reversal, which results in a … Read moreAristotelian Tragedy in Henry IV Part I