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Aristotle's Six Elements of Tragedy _in order of importance_


									           Aristotle’s Six Elements of Tragedy (in order of importance)

1. Plot- not the story itself but the way the events are presented
- outcome should depend on a cause-and-effect chain of actions
- must be “a whole,” with a beginning(incentive movement), middle(climax), and
   end (resolution)
- the chain of events between the beginning and the climax is the “tying up” or
   desis (complication)
- the chain of events between the climax to the resolution is the “unraveling” or
   lusis (denouement)
- must be complete with unity of action
- must be serious and of universal significance
- complex plots are better
- simple plots have only a catastrophe or “change of fortune”
- complex plots have both peripeteia or “reversal of intention” and anagnorisis or
   “recognition” connected with the catastrophe

2. Character
-supports plot; personal motivations should be connected to the chain of events
-protagonist should be renowned and prosperous
-protagonist’s change of fortune should be a result of his hamartia (tragic flaw)

3. Thought
- is found “where something is proved to be or not to be, or a general maxim is
   enunciated” (theme)
- speeches should reveal character

4. Diction or Language
-stylistic elements (dialogue, figurative language)

5. Song or Music
–the Chorus should be fully integrated into the play

6. Spectacle (scenery, costumes, and other visual elements)
-should contribute to the action

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