For many centuries the tragedy holds to continue to be perceived as the most ardently gratifying arrangement of drama because it encompasses the capability of transporting the spectator into the drama as well as allowing them to empathize with the characters, particularly the tragic hero. The study noted above regarding tragedy was shaped by the Greek philosopher, Aristotle. Aristotle also noted that the tragic flaw is imperative in the characteristic of the protagonist and the proceedings that transpire in the piece are a manifestation of that flaw (“The Poetics by Aristotle: XIII. ). This philosophy of the tragic hero can be located in both Charles Van Doren in Quiz Show and Shakespeare’s character, Othello, in his play Othello. It is the characters’ prominence and faults as well as their ability to acquire their audiences pity in which label them tragic heroes. Charles Van Doren in Robert Redford’s Quiz Show possesses an existence in which numerous souls would envy.
His affiliation with being one of the country’s highly knowledgeable and esteemed families (his father labeled an eminent professor at Columbia University as well as a Pulitzer-prize awarded poet, his uncle defined as a renowned historian, and his mother being a recognized author possessing multiple acknowledged works of literature) is the first step to his being a tragic hero. Charles attempts to shadow his father’s achievements as he labors as a mentor at Columbia training to conquest for his father when he retires.
Alas, Van Doren believes that he falls short in character in comparison to his family in terms of success. At this moment in time, he judges that he should have achieved a sufficient amount to the extent that people would not seek to refer to him as “the son” but rather refer to him by his own identity. Van Doren evidently does not recognize how privileged his existence is in contrast to the majority of America’s citizens; that he remains far more triumphant than any of them could ever achieve.
It is this self-doubt and catastrophic fault that will eventually direct him to his expiration as an icon throughout the progression of the film. When the ability to become a possible contender on Twenty-One displays itself, Van Doren observes it as a chance for him to finally receive recognition in his family; this opportunity puts him into a situation where he is forced to evaluate his ethics. Enright and Freedman shatter Van Doren’s moral standards by stating that they should place him in the show and provide him with the questions that he previously knows.
Van Doren mechanically recognizes that this suggestion is immoral: that it is ultimately dishonourable. A significant defining moment of the film is when Van Doren encounters a crisis; whether to state the answer to a question he was arranged to be asked or to answer the question inaccurately and preserve his veracity. Though Van Doren clearly faces a struggle within himself, he ultimately chooses the recognition and fortune that will derive from his victory on the show.
The awareness he acquires from his presence on the Today Show causes it to become effortless for him to validate his verdict. The fall of Van Doren becomes apparent when Congressional investigator, Dick Goodwin, comes to New York City to investigate the quiz show after reading a piece about how Stempel attempted to acquire a trial regarding the cheating taking place on the show. After much investigation, Van Doren’s fraud is discovered causing his divine facade to perish along with the name he has created for himself.
The enthralled audiences around the country, once desiring to be a part of the marvel Twenty One deceitfully was, now see Van Doren’s infamy and view him as nothing but a deceitful human being. His name, as well as his honour, is demolished because of his disillusionments and his desire to create an identity for himself. Aristotle’s analysis of what makes a tragic hero is greatly demonstrated in Charles Van Doren’s story represented in Quiz Show because he was of such a high rank in society and it was his tragic flaw of insecurity and lust for fame that initiated his downfall.
Othello can be qualified to be one of Shakespeare’s supreme tragedies because it shadows the procedures established by Aristotle’s Poetics. Othello’s prestige (that of a dark, tall, African Moor), joined with his particular charisma, aids him in achieving the admiration and loyalty of the Venetian people and senators. Othello, subsisting as a soldier for a large interval of his life, is viewed as an exceptionally honourable gentleman. His status as a governor-general itself displays an aura of aristocracy, poise, and potency.
The identity portrays someone who is sustained in tremendously high reverence by the people of Venice. In addition to him exhibiting pronounced characteristics and courage, Othello also exhibits pride. He retains his composure during the initial confrontation with the senators when he is accused of witchcraft when Desdemona’s father faces Othello about his courting his daughter: “Most potent, grave, and reverend signiors,/ My very noble and approved good masters,/ That I have ta’en away this old man’s daughter,/ It is most true.
True, I have married her. / The very head and front of my offending/ Hath this extent, no more,” ( I. iii. 76-81). Though Iago is the venomous serpent of the play, it is Othello’s tragic faults of gullibility and jealously that convert him from an aristocrat into a venomous creature himself, which inescapably carriages him to his demise. Although Iago fuels the fire that is Othello’s jealously through his tactics of manipulation, Othello’s unfeasible train of thought must be analyzed to substantiate Aristotle’s definition of a tragic hero.
This defect ultimately directs him to his disgrace; the murder of his devoted wife, Desdemona, and himself. Before Othello kills himself, he acknowledges his fault in murdering his beloved wife: “…besides that in Aleppo once,/ Where a malignant and a turbaned Turk/ Beat a Venetian and traduced the state,/ I took by the throat the circumcised dog,/ And smote him, thus,” (V. ii. 352-56). his also entails of his assassination of the monstrosity that he was bred to be.
Othello’s monologue proclaims that it is not the real Othello who is dying, but rather the “turbanned Turk” in which he was spawned. As the play unravels the viewer’s resonant benevolence towards the tragic hero, as well as distress for their own lives, as the final scene the incidents leaves its mark on the stage just as Aristotle predicted. Defined, a tragedy illustrates a tale that features the collapse of a protagonist.
Customarily, the protagonist demonstrates upper class attributes or derives form an upper class institute and is encountered with an antagonizing episode, whether it is external or internal, which thus causes the protagonist’s downfall. This fall, according to Aristotle, “should come about as the result, not of vice, but of some great error or frailty in a character. ” A plot such as this is liable to breed empathy and apprehension into the audience, for “pity is aroused by unmerited misfortune, fear by the misfortune of a man like ourselves,” (“The Poetics by Aristotle: XIII”).
This notion exemplifies an aspect of tragedy in which several productions are centered, including Robert Redford’s film Quiz Show based on the fall of Charles Van Doren and Shakespeare’s Othello. It is Charles’s lust for fame to seek his father’s approval in which triggers his downfall, and it is Othello’s gullibility and jealousy in which initiates his. Allied with the characters’ individual incentives, the cause-and-effect sequence of proceedings is crafted, generating pity and anxiety in the audience.
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