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The Crucible By Arthur Miller Essay

2789 words - 11 pages

According to Aristotle "a tragedy is defined as an imitation of action and life, not of an imitation of men"; but "is not merely an imitation of actions, but of events inspiring fear and pity" (Butcher). So he places a higher and more important role in the plot rather than the character. The plot, also known as the Mythos, is one of the main traits espoused by Aristotle in The Poetics that helps construct a tragedy. The plot consists of a hero going from joyfulness to ultimately misery due to his hamartia, or flaw. The quintessential Aristotelian hero has many good traits but his biggest trait , Hubris, which causes his downfall. The hero must be valorous, consistent, and honorable and come from royalty or aristocracy descent. An integral part of the plot is the use of anagnorisis, or recognition and peripeteia, or reversal fortune. At the end when the tragedy usually ends when the hero gives up his life in exchange for something he considers greater and leaves no further questions. As portrayed by Aristotle's The Poetics, the tragic mode is archaic, "fit only for the very highly placed, the kings or the kingly" (Miller "Tragedy and the Common Man").In contrast, in a modern tragedy "the common man is as apt a subject for tragedy in its highest sense as kings were" (Miller "Tragedy and the Common Man"). One did not need to be the aristocracy or royalty in order to be a hero. Arthur Millers views on the requisite characteristics of a modern tragedy are evinced in his essay "Tragedy and the Common Man". The "[Ones] who are without kings, took up this bright thread of [their] history and followed it to the only place it can possible lead in our time--the heart and spirit of the average man" (Miller "Tragedy and the Common Man"). In a modernist work we see the hero going within. The world has become corrupt and fragmented. The hero of a modern tragedy "is a character who is ready to lay down his life, if need be, to secure one thing--his sense of personal dignity" (Miller "Tragedy and the Common Man"). The one thing he has control over is his integrity and dignity which are equivalent to his soul. The hero "points the heroic finger at the enemy of man's freedom" (Miller "Tragedy and the Common Man") because, he understand the value of freedom; he is a common man who knows what it is like to have no freedom and to have fear. Among common men "today...fear is as strong, and perhaps stronger, than it ever was. In fact, it is the common man who knows this fear best" (Miller "Tragedy and the Common Man"), There are:those who act against the scheme of things that degrades them, and in the process of action everything we have accepted out of fear or insensitivity or ignorance is shaken before [one] and examined, and from this total onslaught by an individual against the seemingly stable cosmos surrounding [one] --from this total examination of the "unchangeable" environment--comes the terror and the fear that is classically associated with tragedy (Miller).A...

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