Aristotle, Oedipus Rex, Antigone – Essaylink

1. What is the function and psychological mechanism of catharsis according to Aristotle? Explain the meaning of the term. Why do we have to watch a tragedy (instead a comedy) to experience catharsis? Use Oedipus Rex as an example.

2. Discuss the differences and similarities between Aristotle and Plato on art. What are the functions of art according to them and how do they understand the role and function of the poet in the society? Explain the term mimesis in this context.


1. Explain term hamartia. What kind of error of the protagonist does it imply? Does it have a moral aspect according to Aristotle? Why, why not? Refer to the personal character of Oedipus in this context.

2. How would you argue that Oedipus has free will? How does Oedipus try to reconcile his actions with the prophecy of Apollo? Does Oedipus have free will? How does Bernard Knox (video) argue that Oedipus has free will?

3. What does make Oedipus a tragic character. Discus his personal character and refer to examples of his actions in Oedipus Rex and to Aristotelian categories in Poetics.


1. Explain the moral dilemma Antigone faces. What is the essence of any moral dilemma? What are the moral and legal consequences of her choice?

2. Discuss the personal qualities of Antigone and Ismene and show how their personalities and values affect their decisions.

3. What does make Antigone a tragic character? Refer to Aristotelian categories in Poetics


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