Aristotle's definition of tragedy is one of the most influential and important analysis" to come out of the literary world of ancient Greece. His analysis of the ideal form of tragic plays became a guideline for later playwrights in Western civilisation. When looked at in relation to Sophocles Oedipus Tyrannus it seems that Aristotle's theory is exemplified within it. From Aristotle's Poetics through to his definition of tragedy it seems that Oedipus Tyrannus in the perfect example for Aristotle's theory, and there seems to be no deviation from Aristotle's notion within Oedipus Tyrannus but this will be discussed later on.
To answer the question, the first thing that has to be done is to analyse Aristotle's definition of tragedy. Aristotle obviously didn't invent drama but he did use examples from the works of famous Greek playwrights such as Sophocles to illustrate his main ideas. The Greeks believed that tragedy was the highest form of drama, and Aristotle's ideas about tragedy were based on this belief:.
"A tragedy is the imitation of an.
action that is serious and also,.
as having magnitude, complete in.
itself; in appropriate and pleasurable.
language; in a dramatic rather than.
narrative form; with incidents arousingpity and fear, wherewith to .
accomplish a cartharsis of these emotions. ".
( The Huamanities Handbook -page 27).
Aristotle is saying that a tragedy is a play made up of great importance, which it will stick to, which is implied by the phrase "Complete in itself". Aristotle is also saying that the language of a tragedy should be easy to listen, it should have a rhythm and even harmony which would have been found within the chorus which a lot of the time were sung during the plays. Aristotle also suggests that pity and fear, which a tragedy evokes, should come from the events, and the action and not just from the mere sight of something on stage.
H.D.F Kito says that " Aristotle gives a clear recipe for the making of a good play, and it is one which he is commonly supposed to have deduced from the practice of his classical dramatists (Greek Tragedy, pg.