Aristotle's The Poetics written in the 4th century B. thoroughly analyzed what makes a play or in modern terms a movie, a tragedy. For Aristotle, the most important element of tragic drama was the unique experience of catharsis, or the arousing of the emotions of pity and fear so as to purge them in the spectator. A perfect tragedy contains the six elements of drama: plot, character, thought, diction, spectacle, and song. This is tragedy defined by its emotional effect on the audience. Aristotle did however; allow room for tragedies that do not exactly meet his requirements called flawed tragedies. This paper will analyze the movie, Scarface (1983) in the Aristotelian sense of a tragedy.
The ideal plot should have one plot whose action extends over no more than a day or two and occurs in no more than one city and its surrounding countryside. This is the unity of time, place and action. The concentration of an action within a relatively small location and time period produced a stronger emotional response, according to Aristotle. The movie, Scarface, the plot doesn't extend over a far too lengthy period of time, however; it is longer than two days. Nevertheless, everyone asked about their emotions while watching the movie said it moved them.
A plot structured on certain points which strengthen the emotions of pity and fear. These points include a Reversal, or change of fortune. A simple plot contains a character experiences a turn of fortune from happiness to misery or vice versa. A complex plot contains a hero, seeking happiness, who brings about his own destruction. Aristotle viewed a complex plot as more artistic than a simple. Scarface contains a plot which in this writer's opinion is complex because the main character Tony Montana is seeking to create happiness by gaining wealth, which brings about his downfall.
Recognition is the discovery of someone's identity or true nature, of one's own identity or true character, and of the nature of the gods and the universe.