ON TRAGEDY CommonLit Answers 2024 [Free Access]

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ON TRAGEDY CommonLit Answers – FREE Access

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ON TRAGEDY CommonLit Answers key

Discussion Questions & Answers

Following are our answers based on the questions provided:

Q.1. Why do you think tragedy is a popular genre? Is tragedy entertaining? What benefit do people derive from watching the downfall of a tragic hero?
Ans: Tragedies allow us to expand our view of the world while also assimilating that view, and they allow us to bear witness to events and say, This Really Happened, according to Aristotle. Tragedies allow us to expand our view of the world while also assimilating that view, and they allow us to bear witness to events and say, This Really Happened. All of this seems a little high, which is understandable given the theme of tragedy. However, baser instincts play a role as well.

Q.2. What is the significance of pity and fear in tragedy?
Ans: Pity and fear are the polar opposites of the same emotional experience, with pity referring to the anguished realization of unjust tragedy befalling others rather than ourselves, and fear referring to the recognition of such misfortune befalling, or threatening to befall ourselves. The goal of tragedy, according to Aristotle, is to cause “catharsis” in the audience — to provoke feelings of sorrow and dread in them and then purify them of these feelings so that they leave the theater feeling cleansed and elevated, with a better knowledge of gods and men’s ways.

Q.3. How does what Aristotle calls our “moral sense” play into the concept of tragedy?
Ans: Aristotle was arguing that stories that appeal to our moral sense should not be used in tragedies to create feelings of sorrow and dread.
Such stories that depict the revenge that a wicked person faces will not succeed in eliciting sympathy from the viewers.
“The organization of the episodes is most significant,” Aristotle observed. Because tragedy is an imitation of action and of life, and life is action, and its aim is a manner of activity, not a characteristic,” says the author. The story, according to Aristotle, is the heart of a tragedy, with character coming in second. He suggested a figure in the middle, who isn’t perfect and whose misfortune was caused by a mistake in judgment rather than immorality or depravity.

Q.4. Aristotle says that the tragic hero must be similar to the audience in order to evoke fear. How do we see ourselves in literary characters?
Ans: “The change of fortune shown must not be the sight of a good man dragged from wealth to hardship,” Aristotle writes in Poetics, implying that the hero of a tragedy must provoke sympathy and dread in the audience. In other words, the hero’s attention should not be on the loss of his virtue. Aristotle, an ancient Greek philosopher, was the first to coin the term “tragic hero.” He felt that a good tragedy should elicit in the audience sentiments of terror and pity, since he considered these two emotions as essential to catharsis (the process of releasing strong or pent-up emotions through art).


Assessment Questions & Answers

Following are our answers based on the questions provided:

Q.1. Summarize at least 3 elements of an ideal tragedy, as described by Aristotle.
Ans: According to Aristotle, an ideal tragedy consists of three key elements: plot, character, and thought.
Plot – Aristotle believed that the plot is the most important element of a tragedy. He emphasized that a well-structured plot should have a beginning, middle, and end, and should follow a cause-and-effect chain of events. The plot should also have a clear and logical progression, with a climax that evokes pity and fear in the audience.
Character – Aristotle believed that the characters in a tragedy should be realistic and relatable. They should have a certain level of goodness and nobility, but also possess a tragic flaw or error in judgment, known as “hamartia.” This flaw leads to their downfall and evokes catharsis in the audience.
Thought – Aristotle considered thought or “dianoia” as an important element of tragedy. He believed that a tragedy should explore universal themes and provoke intellectual and moral reflection in the audience. The play should raise important questions and present different viewpoints, allowing the audience to contemplate and gain insight into the human condition.

Q.2. How does paragraph 1 contribute to the development of ideas in the article/passage?
Ans: It introduces the purpose of the subsequent paragraphs: to advise writers on the components of an ideal tragedy.

Q.3. PART A: What does the word “spectacle” most closely mean as it is used in paragraph 2?
Ans: A dramatic scene often involving scandal

Q.4. PART B: Which phrase from the paragraph best supports the answer to Part A?
Ans: “merely shocks us”

Q.5. Some literacy critics have defined tragedy as “the downfall of a hero.” Would Aristotle agree? How might he revise this definition?
Ans: Aristotle would basically agree, but his definition of Tragedy was much more complex. Aristotle’s idea of tragedy centered more on what the audience got out of the play than the actual character’s ending. The audience should be feeling pity and fear (based on the main character who should be morally sensible and somehow relatable to the audience), and then be able to experience a release of emotions that leaves them feeling refreshed and cleansed.


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