Greek Tragedies and Their Influence on Modern Day Literature Essay by Writing Phan

Greek Tragedies and Their Influence on Modern Day Literature
A discussion on the ways in which Greek tragedies and the theory of the Greek tragic hero has survived the diverse style changes of literature since its conception.
# 7685 | 960 words | 2 sources | MLA | 2002

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The following paper examines the ways in which the idea of Greek tragedies has been embellished upon by great literary geniuses. This paper examines how Shakespeare, for example, used his tragic plays to purge his audience of their own flaws, which is precisely how Aristotle had defined the ideal tragic play. The writer examines how modern playwrights such as Sophocles, Ibsen and Tennessee Williams began to interject less idealism and more realism into their tragedies, providing a more "real life" hero than the ideal hero as defined by the dramas in ancient Greece.

From the Paper:

"As literature has evolved over time, plays have become less of a staple of only aristocracy. American literature came into existence, and with that came Tennessee Williams (one of many notable playwrights) and his superb work, "The Glass Menagerie". Unlike the original idea of a tragic hero that was someone of great influence and stature (though not god-like), Tennessee Williams wrote about real characters, that virtually anyone could identify with. In the play, the role of the hero is shifted between Amanda, Tom and Laura " depending on the angle of the play at the time. Williams doesn't focus on the characters, which doesn't allow for much development beyond their initial two-dimensional appearance. Tom is arguably our hero, but he isn't really all that likeable. He is mean to his mother, alienates his sister, and abandons them both. Nothing remarkably heroic there. Williams is more concerned with the outcome of the play, and Tom's resounding guilt for his actions; as a result, Williams revolves completely around the plot. Tom, who serves as the narrator for the play, is essentially the protagonist of the play " he is not necessarily the most important figure in the play, but he is the first one to interact with the audience, which is the definition used in the time of the Greek tragedy."

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