TRAGEDY ESSAY Over the course of time, many things tend to change significantly. Such is the case of tragic literature and the cathartic effect it has on the reader, which has deteriorated a great deal from Sophocles" writing of the true tragedy, Oedipus. Hamlet exemplifies partial decomposition of catharsis whereas Miss Julie epitomises an almost total collapse of the cathartic effect. It is assumed that the higher the status of the tragic hero, the easier for the 1990's audience to identify the character's tragic flaw. The "identity" refers to the ability to relate to the situation or idea. The higher social status of the protagonist in Oedipus and Hamlet allows an easier level of reader identification that that experienced in Ghosts, which is made by examining stages two and three of catharsis. The higher social status of the protagonist in Oedipus and Hamlet allows a higher level of reader identification than that experienced in Miss Julie which is made evident by examining stage two and three of catharsis. The classic tragedy, Oedipus tells the story of the King of Thebes, Oedipus who foolishly tries to challenge fate and evade prophecy, which proclaimed that he would murder his father and marry his mother. When trying to free Thebes of a plague he discovers that the prophecy had, in fact come true and he did murder his father and marry his mother. According to Aristotle, there are three elements in stage two of catharsis (The cathartic moment), which includes the highest of misery, the fall of shields, which protected him from an ultimate truth about himself, as well as the hero's moment of enlightenment. The play Oedipus displays three elements of the cathartic moment very well. Oedipus" highest point of misery occurs after he realises that the prophecy had come true and he discovers that his wife, Jocasta has hung herself in her bridal-room after she finds out that Oedipus was her son.