In Literature tragedy is a serious play of the downfall of a dignified and superior hero whoparticipates in events of great importance. The old Greeks, used tragedy to communicate about human’srelation to gods as suffering, duty and fate. These basic ideas were developed by the motifs, themes,concepts and ideas through which important incidents accrue. The tragedy is all opposite of comedy andis marked by its acute seriousness. It depicts reality its inner contradictions and profound conflicts in ahighly concerned symbolic form as tragedy.Important part of the Greek tragedy is hero; a person of high stature accepts his failure with fullresponsibility.
The person is not good neither bad but decent fellow yet flawed.The purpose of the tragedy is to arouse the feelings of fear and pity in the audience as they watchthe downfall of a great hero in front of their eyes.Aristotle’s definition of tragedyThe imitation of an action, serious, complete, and of a certain magnitude, in a languagebeautified in different parts with different kinds of embellishment, through action and not narration,and through scenes of pity and fear bringing about the Catharsis of these emotions.Structure of Greek tragedy:Greek tragedy usually starts with a prologue, where a character or many characters set a stage toplay. The play has almost three scenes. In between scenes there comes chorus that was used to explain theelements of the play which the characters were unaware or act as if they are not known to these facts.Chorus is made up of the common people of the society, a group of seven to eight people commenting onthe play.Five parts of Greek Tragedy:? Prologue: The presentation of the tragedy’s topic to the audience.
? Parados: Explanation of what has happened through the? Episode: This is the most important section of the tragedy where the characters interacted withthe chorus.? Stasimon: This section is presented by the chorus by commenting on the plot and incidents ofthe tragedy.? Exode: This is the final part of the tragedy where chorus sung its last song and deliver the moralof the tragedy.Development of Greek Tragedy:The Greek tragedies has great dealings with religious aspects and developed from religious ritualsassociated with god Dionysus and survived as religion oriented throughout history. The Greek tragedieswere recreated of myths about the conflicts of generations as the conflicts of hero or gods. Greektragedies brought the spectator to the problems of reality that is why this genre is perfect in itsharmonious work of literature and arts.
As seen in the tragedies of Aeschylus and Sophocles. Greektragedy because of its realism has got the power to affect the audience directly as physically as well aspsychologically. It arouses the feelings of pity and fear and then resolved the conflicts by the catharsis ofthe characters.
Oedipus as a Greek Tragedy:Oedipus Rex is a typical Greek tragedy as it has all the tragic elements in it, like, tragic setting,mood and tone, tragic hero with tragic hamartia and tragic plot. The dialogues and language of thecharacters also reflects the tragic mood of the play. Corus emphasizes on the tragic message of the ill-fated Oedipus. Oedipus Rex is ancient Greek tragedy which depicts tragic plot along with the hero of highstature as he is the great man with great commitment to find out the truth and conflict of the people of hiscountry.
His tragic flaw is that he becomes over confident in the matter of facts that he knows and canknow by the time and he becomes too careless towards gods. The fate that oracles has described to him,he defies the inner voice and wisdom with fate. The other tragic element is the atmosphere of the tragedyfrom start to end. The atmosphere from start to end was serious throughout and the tension betweencharacters and dramatic never settles down.One of the Sophocles important tragedy was Antigone in which the main character pays the priceof buying her brother Polynices in opposition of the king Kreon of Thebes. It is a classic tragedy andpresenting all the Greek Tragedy’s elements.
The other Greek tragedy writer was Euripides known for his tragic plots and characters. He wasunique in presenting the awkward questions in front if the audience to make them settle by the commonthemes. His famous work was Medeia in which Jason of the golden fleece fame, disturb the title characterof the play for the daughter of king Corinth and Medeia kills her own children in revenge. Anothertragedy is Hecuba which is about the earlier queen of Troy, as well as her grief over the death ofchildren’s death and hatred against the murderer.