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Macbeth Tragedy or Satire

Macbeth: Tragedy or Satire William Shakespeare wrote four great tragedies, the last of which was written in 1606 and titled Macbeth. This "tragedy", as it is considered by societal critics of yesterday's literary world, scrutinizes the evil dimension of conflict, offering a dark and gloomy atmosphere of a world dominated by the powers ofdarkness. Macbeth, more so than any of Shakespeare's other tragic protagonists, has to face the powers and decide: should he succumb or should he resist? Macbeth understands the reasons for resisting evil and yet he proceeds with a disastrous plan, instigated by the prophecies of the three Weird Sisters. Thus we must ask the question: If Macbeth is acting on the impulses stimulated by the prophecies of his fate, is this Shakespearean work of art really a Tragedy? Aristotle, one of the greatest men in the history of human thought, interpreted Tragedy as a genre aimed to present a heightened and harmonious imitation of nature, and, in particular, those aspects of nature that touch most closely upon human life. This I think Macbeth attains. However, Aristotle adds a few conditions.According to Aristotle, a tragedy must have six parts: plot, character, diction, thought, spectacle, and song. Most important is the plot, the structure of the incidents. Tragedy is not an imitation of men, but of action and life. It is by men's actions that they acquire happiness or sadness. Aristotle stated, in response to Plato, that tragedy produces a healthful effect on the human character through a katharsis, a "proper purgation" of "pity and terror." A successful tragedy, then, exploits and appeals at the start to two basic emotions: fear and pity. Tragedy deals with the element of evil, with what we least want and most fear to face, and with what is destructive to human life and values. It also draws out our ability to sympathize with the tragic character, feeling some of the impact of the evil ourselves. Does Macbeth su...

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