In this paper you will be sorting out the various ways the generic form “tragedy” has been defined over the years. There are several ways to plan this paper. One approach would be to look at Hamlet, Othello, OR Macbeth to determine which tragic theories apply to the play you choose, making a case that, for example, Hamlet is a play that conforms to Frye’s defining comments on tragedy or that Othello is not in line with Aristotelian ideas. Another approach would be to focus on a problem like the definition of the tragic hero or of the “flaw”/”blind spot” as defined by several theorists and apply it comparatively to more than one play.
The paper will reflect your understanding of the four essays on Blackboard (Aristotle, Frye, Bradley, and Langer) and of course the plays themselves. To be substantial, you must read and pay close attention to passages from the essays and the plays. This paper uses both the skill you have developed in close reading and the way we’ve talked about the larger structure of ideas with which the plays engage. Discuss your plan for the paper with Julie or Peggy as soon as you have a plan.