Catharsis

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  • Behold, mortal: punishment for your pride!
  • NOOOOO!
  • How sad, he wasn't a bad person. What a terrible fate!
  • If that could happen to a person like him, it could happen to me too!
  • That was a great play, the end was very moving!
  • That's the sign of a good tragedy!
  • Yeah, it was intense, but I'm glad I saw it. Really makes you think.
  • At the end of a classic tragedy, the hero has struggled in vain against supernatural powers, like fate or the gods. A mistake, or flaw causes the hero to fail and suffer a terrible fate.
  • The audience is left with a feeling of pity for the tragic hero, and fear that the same fate could befall them personally.
  • Aristotle believed feeling this pity and fear helped to “emotionally cleanse” the audience, by letting them experience these intense emotions in a safe manner.
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