Aristotle is one of the most brilliant philosophers of all time, and it is impossible to overestimate his contribution to literature. Like Plato, Aristotle admitted that art had an imitative role, but its other aim was to teach people and make them better than they were initially. One of his most significant focuses was on outlining different features and parts of proper and good tragedies and studying the necessity of catharsis.
In his “Poetics,” Aristotle mentions that tragedy imitates both a complete action and those surprising events that inspire pity or fear. These events are called surprising as the philosopher recommends throwing them unexpectedly to make the tragic wonder greater (Crash Course, 2018). At the same time, good plots should avoid episodic actions as they stretch the literary piece beyond its capacity. Reversal, which is a change of state of affairs to an opposite one, and recognition, which is a transition from ignorance to knowledge, are other crucial elements of a good tragedy. Aristotle believed that combined, these parts of a tragedy allow one to get to truly know a character. Therefore, they produce either pity or fear, and purification of such emotions is called catharsis. It is another crucial part of tragedies, and it is probably its key purpose.
In my opinion, the mentioned ideas and elements are indeed significant to be taken into account while writing a good tragedy. Though I believe that precisely catharsis is the best part, and if a tragedy leads to it, it may also be considered a proper literary work. Since we all need to learn and become better persons, strong emotions and negative events should be present in our lives in any way. Thus, it is better to read about them happening to characters than live through them.
Crash Course. (2018). Tragedy lessons from Aristotle. YouTube. Web.