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The comic and the tragic effects Paper

I declare that this report is my own unaided work. It is being submitted in partial fulfilment of the 4th Year Honours Degree in Theatre Arts to the University of Zimbabwe. It has not been submitted before for any degree or examination to any other University. Isheunesu Moyo……………………. May 2012 i ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Firstly, I would like to thank the Theatre Arts Department for affording me the opportunity to study at the University of Zimbabwe and making my research possible.

I want to thank the Most High God for everything, my parents for all the prayers, my wife Enfa for the tough talk, and all the Ts and Ks in my family, you give meaning my to life. More thanks and gratitude to ‘Uncle Steve” for allowing me to critique his work, my friends and collegues, Tafadzwa Muzondo, Everson Ndlovu, Evans Gorogodo and Paul Munjenge for the support; and my Theatre Arts final year class of 2011, I pray we meet again; and to others not mentioned here whose presence in my life is greatly valued, I thank you.

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Thank you to My Supervisor, Kelvin Chikonzo for the patience and useful comments on my draft, Ngonidzashe Muwonwa, Nehemiah Chivandikwa and Kudakwashe Sambo for keeping on reminding me of the need to work on this research wherever we met. ii DEDICATION For Enock and Earnest who are far from my eyes but never from my heart. I look forward to a family reunion. iii TABLE OF CONTENTS

Declaration i Acknowledgements ii Dedication iii Table of Contents iv Chapter 1 Area of Investigation 1 Justification 2 Aims and Objectives 3 Methodology 4 Literature Review 5 Chapter 2 The Contextual and Conceptual Framework Introduction 10 The Political Violence 10 The Healing 12 Chifunyise the Playwright 13 The Comic 16 The Tragic 20 Transformative Theatre 21 Conclusion 23 Chapter 3.

The Efficacy of Tragic Elements in Heal the Wounds Introduction 24 Synopsis of “Heal the Wounds” 24 Tragic Elements in “Heal the Wounds” 26 Evaluating the efficacy of Tragic Elements 32 Conclusion 36 Chapter 4 The Efficacy of Comic Elements in Rituals Introduction 37 Synopsis of “Rituals” 37 Comic Elements in “Rituals” and their efficacy 37 Chapter 5 Conclusions and Recommendations Conclusions and Recommendations 42 Bibliography 44 CHAPTER 1 1. 1 Area of Investigation Most plays have tragic and comic effects.

These effects have also found a place in plays written with an aim to transform and change society. We have however, rarely questioned whether these effects weaken or aid the core function of transformative theatre which lies in the liberation of the mind and the decentering of the intellectual processes of the dramatic or performative text. This research, therefore seeks to investigate the relationship between style and function. The study will focus particularly on the works of Stephen Chifunyise.

It will interrogate whether these dramatic devices help in the realization of the core values of transformative theatre or whether, as devices, they serve the purpose of a panacea without providing lasting solutions. Transformative theatre’s main objective, according to Bertolt Brecht translated by Willett (1964) is to produce theatre which does not create emotional feelings but thoughts which encourage reasoning and transforms society.

McLaren et al (1993:80) cites Brecht position on transformative theatre when he says “Art is not a mirror held up to society, but a hammer with which to shape it. ” Chikonzo (2010:1) adds that transformative theatre’s aim ‘is to provide liberated space which allows diverse voices to deliberate upon their interests, so that social power is not concentrated within one centre. ’ Ngugi (1998) equates societal transformation to “absolute art”.

The question then is, do elements of the comic and 1 the tragic help the transformative purpose of theatre? This research paper seeks to find out how influential the use of comic and tragic aspects in Rituals and Heal the Wounds respectively influences the community and the culture of the audience as well as the historical evolution of wider social and political realities. Justification Stephen Chifunyise is a prominent and important Zimbabwean transformative theatre playwright who although he has “90 plays to his credit” according to The Zimbabwean Friday, 29 April 2011, very little has been written about him.

Chifunyise has been instrumental in using theatre as an advocacy tool for social change. There is need to investigate the relationship between comic and tragic effects in his plays as dramatic techniques and question if this style aids the transformative functions of theatre. In particular it will investigate the comic and the tragic vis a vis how they impact on creating an environment conducive for change. The relationship between style and function in the context of transformative theatre opens a gap which this study hopes to fill. Heal the Wounds and Rituals are important because they focus on the vicious 2 political violence cycle in Zimbabwe and its representation.

The issues of restorative justice and national healing are topical matters in Zimbabwe and there is need to break the silence around political violence. When Zimbabwe attained Independence, there was talk about reconciliation, following Gukurahundi, there was talk about unity and now as violence continues to fester, there is talk about national healing. Heal the Wounds and Rituals are important because they discuss this topical issue. Although there have been works written on change through Theatre for Development, I seek to write on change outside Theatre for Development, highlighting the link between style and transformative function, something that is often ignored.

By interrogating genre, we can establish whether these techniques stimulate transformation or preservation. Such an analysis is needed because our efforts at transformative theatre might end up serving the functions of conservation and preservation, reproducing values and ideas it is produced to challenge. There has rarely been an analysis that brings together genre and transformative theatre. Such a marriage provides an analytical base in which we redirect the energies of transformative theatre towards change that brings about social justice in which power is transferred and allowed to oscillate between different social groups. 1. 3 Aims and Objectives • To explore the relationship between style and function.

• To explore the efficacy of the tragic and comic in Chifunyise’s plays • To make recommendations. 3 1. 4 Methodology 1. Content Analysis Watching Chifunyise’s plays during their perfomance helped me to see what impact they had on the audience also benefitting from the post perfomance feedback. I was also able to view the productions alone on DVDs in order to make an objective analysis. The challenge is though I may try to be neutral, there are possible subjective perceptions that I may have. Post performance discussions however try and bring objectivity to the analysis. Content analysis is also qualitative in nature hence it also helps understand the complex relations and issues around politically motivated violence.

2. Interviews

I was able to interview members of the cast on their experiences and the impact they thought they made in communities they toured with the production. Members of the cast interested parties hence this affects objectivity. With interviews and open ended questions, participants told stories of their choices which were of interest and relevant which I had no idea about and was never going to ask on. 3. Primary and Secondary Sources Reviews in Zimbabwe’s polarised media gave me different perspectives of how the production was being viewed. Solidarity messages that were sent out when the cast was arrested also gave this study fresh insight. Use of secondary sources obviate the need for primary research where information is already available.

Newspapers have house policies and biases which makes their information sometimes not reliable therefore they need verification. 4 4. Internet Sources These gave me global views of what has been said about the productions even outside the country. The challenge however is anyone can put anything on the internet without someone approving the content thereby making the information liable to inaccuracies and making it unreliable. I evaluated the source and information for credibility. 1. 5 Literature Review Transformative Theatre Brecht developed a technique to distance audiences from the characters, prompting them to observe the action on stage critically rather than emotionally.

This form of theatre he termed epic theatre is also known as transformative theatre. Michel Foucault (1964) argues that in all its variations art is for “Creative transformation”. Human beings are uniquely capable of altering reality in many different ways. Angeline Kamba (1995) echoes the same sentiments when she argues for art that transforms reality of a situation through creative imagination and initiative. Chikonzo (2010) adds on to say the core purpose of transformative theatre is to provide liberated space which allows diverse voices to deliberate upon their interests, so that social power is not concentrated within one centre. Foucault, Kamba and Chikonzo help this study with the purpose of transformative theatre.

According to France Maphosa (1998) Empowerment can only be a reality if the impetus arises from the powerless, as they seek to do for themselves what politicians 5 and development agencies have not been able to do for them. Maphosa ‘s reflections reveal that the dominance of donors in the financing of art projects may inhibit the transformative aspects of plays. His study helps this study by alluding to the critical success factor of transformation. This study with the assistance of the aforementioned with regards to transformative theatre will explore how the comic and tragic effects allow the audience to think and in the process aids the transformative processes of theatre. Stephen Chifunyise

The Zimbabwean (2011) Top international and award winning playwright, Stephen Chifunyise, has an impressive 90 plays to his credit. The Zimbabwean article gives an overview of who Chifunyise is and what he has accomplished but does not tell us if his work have caused social change through its use of comic and tragic elements, something this study explores. Peace Mukwara (2009) questions whether Chifunyise’s play can be described as protest theatre or he writes to preserve the status quo. Mukwara’s analysis helps this study with views on Chifunyise and an understanding of what protest theatre is, something that is closely related to transformative theatre.

Mukwara however does not look at what form contributes in transformative theatre. Ngugi wa Thiongo (1981) argues that whether or not a writer is aware, his works reflect aspects of the intense economic, political, cultural and ideological struggles in a society. What he can choose is one or the other side in the battlefield; the side of the people or the side of those social forces and classes that try to keep the people 6 down. What s/he cannot not do is to remain neutral. Chinweizu et al(1980:254) reiterates this point when he says None can decide for the writer, as none can decide for the cook, the teacher, the soldier, doctor, merchant, lawyer… or politician.

Each one would have to decide which cause to serve by donation of his or her skill … (The writer) can defend or attack the state, if that is where his impulse leads him. Ngugi and Chinweizu give us a lense through which we can see Chifunyise and determine whether he is for social change or maintenance of the status quo. He however does not look at the dramatic style’s effect in bringing about social change. Chiyindiko (2011) looks at Chifunyise’s Waiting for Constitution and Heal the Wounds and examines their role within an applied drama and theatre paradigm, ascertaining how and to what extent these plays managed to articulate the important national issues they focus on.

Chiyindiko, however, does not do a genre based analysis, something that this study seeks to do. Muzondo (2010) argues that as a director the most difficult question interpreting Chifunyise’s script was to find a protagonist and antagonist as the plot had group conflicts, conflicts within those groups, cross-overs of groups where people who might seem on a different path agree on some aspects, and disagree on other things. Muzondo helps this study with the realisation that though Chifunyise’s plays have tragic elements, he is does not stick to the Greek tragic form where there is a protagonist who is better than ordinary people but is concerned with ordinary people of high morals in tragic situations with tyrants as their antagonists.

Muzondo does not show how this assists the transformative process. 7 Tragedy There is generally an absence of scholars who have written on tragedy and comedy in drama locally hence I had to rely on scholars from other countries and continents. (Fergusson 1961) A hero or heroine falls in misfortune (peripateia) as a result of a combination of personal flaws (hubris) or make some mistake (hamartia). The tragic hero may achieve some revelation or recognition (anagnorisis–“knowing again”) about human fate, destiny, and the will of the gods. The tragic effect / purgation of emotions (catharsis) is what distinguishes tragedy from other dramatic forms.

Fergusson (1961) helps this study with an appreciation of Greek tragedy and as a result this study is clear of points of diversion when looking at Chifunyise’s plays. The tragic character transforms but we are not clear if this also transforms society. Hatlen (1987) argues that tragedy is serious in nature, not trivial or frivolous. It deals with the most profound problems of humanity. Chifunyise, whilst he deals with serious issues, has comic relief in between to heighten the seriousness of the issues. Whilst Hatlen aids this study with the understanding of what a tragedy is, he does not look at its impact with regards to transfroming society.

Comedy

Kolk et al (2005) is of the opinion that comedy is the violation of the sacredness of objects, persons and classes, and the unveiling of their deeply rooted paradoxes. Comic language uses symbols and metaphors, which hide and show reality at the same time. Comedy transcends reality only to catch it red-handed with the truth. It 8 pretends to speak in jest while being the height of serious thinking. A joke is a lie that reveals part of the truth or at least suggests it. Comedy works more political than tragedy, a comic performance serves through the ages as a social relief, is not easily forbidden by authorities and seems ungraspable for censorship in its sudden improvisations. Comedy is a challenge to authority.

Kolk defines comedy and its purpose which helps this study but does not go on to say how effective it is in bringing social transformation, which is the aim of this study. Applauso (2010) explores how humor and fury, in the denunciation of political enemies, interact to establish not a game but ethics of criticism. Applauso looks at the comic and tragic aspects in political criticism which aids my research. Applauso however does not go on to look at whether this will bring social and political change. I try and look at the functionality of form in bringing about social transformation in the community. 9 CHAPTER TWO The Contextual and Conceptual Framework 2. 0 Introduction.

After elections people in the communities realised that they had wronged each other and needed to find ways to mend their spoiled relationships. Some were haunted by the roles they had played in the political violence. The government on seeing these initiatives in the communities quickly came on with the Organ on National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration. Chifunyise gets his cue from the community and is advocating for the community approach to be replicated at national level. Chifunyise uses the comic and tragic elements in a bid to achieve these goals. This chapter seeks to find the relationship between what influences him to write the play and what the dramatic techniques he uses are about. 2. 1 Contextual Framework The Political Violence.

29 March 2008 Presidential, Parliamentary and Council elections were followed by intimidation, politically motivated violence and targeted abductions subsequently leading to extra-judicial killings and a bloodbath in the nation of Zimbabwe. Areas targeted for reprisal were easy to identify as voting was ward based and voting patterns of wards implied political affiliation. Operation wakavhotera papi? (Who did you vote for? ) resulted in heinous acts of political violence Leaders of political parties were fully aware of human rights violations but did not disarm their supporters of dangerous weapons or ideas that had fuelled political 10 violence.

Effects of political violence were dreadful and ruinous as destruction of houses and individual property was rife, villages were razed to the ground resulting in the extensive destruction of livelihoods, torture, arbitrary deprivations of the right to life, stoning and burning of houses and ultimately causing trauma on communities. Victims of politically motivated violence, including some that had become destitute following the burning of their houses fled their rural communities for the cities. According to the Human Right Watch of 26 April 2008, on 25 April 2008 the police raided MDC HQ at Harvest House and in terms of a search warrant allowing the police “to search for suspicious looking people” and arrested 215 people including women and children.

In horrific cases, the mutilated and decomposing bodies of victims were discovered in remote areas around the country and, in other cases, turned up unexplained in a Harare morgue. According to the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights Report on 2008 elections, MDC T indicated that at least 86 of its supporters had been murdered in politically motivated disappearances. Minister of Justice, legal and Parliamentary affairs alleged that some of the pictures of political violence dated back to 2000, accusing MDC T of claiming dead bodies of people that had died of natural causes, whilst claiming ZANU PF had been responsible for their deaths, but survivors of these heinous crimes live to tell the stories.

On 22 June 2008, Morgan Tsvangirai announced through a statement published by Sokwanele / Zvakwana on 23 June 2008 that “a credible election which reflects the will of the people is impossible” and that the MDC-T had decided to withdraw from 11 the Presidential run-off and a one man election was conducted. The Healing On 15 September 2008, the Global Political Agreement (GPA) that ushered in the Government of National Unity (GNU) was signed and subsequently the organ on national healing, reconciliation and integration was formed. The organ has representatives from the major political parties who were part of the politically motivated violence, interchanging the roles of perpetrators and victims; for some perpetrating in retaliation, thereby creating a vicious violence circle.

The bone of contention for the Organ on National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration is around the issue of compensation. When someone is murdered, the traditional values regard a wife or bride price and cattle as appropriate compensation while the Roman Dutch law may opt for a jail term. This does not benefit the aggrieved family much. One of the successes of the Organ is a code of conduct to govern political parties with regards to violence. The code has not made any impact since it cannot be enforced because it is not a law. Under this background, Chifunyise writes “Heal the Wounds” and its sequel “Rituals” to bring attention to the vicious political violence circle characterising Zimbabwe’s history and the efforts at national healing.

These two plays are a response to the culture of violence and particularly to the recent insanity witnessed in Zimbabwe and the need for national healing. 12 Chifunyise the playwright “I decided to restrict myself to dealing with political violence in 2008 elections and to write a play that introduced the Organ for National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration and its objectives; thereby presenting the responses of people who were victims of the political violence to the objectives and operations of the Organ and expose their views on how the Organ could bring about the healing of the wounds, lasting reconciliation, peace and integration. ” Chifunyise said during his opening remarks of Heal the Wounds at Theatre in the Park.

Chifunyise conducted research at Nyikavanhu, a growth point in Bikita District. This is was one the areas most affected by political violence. Chifunyise used events in his socio-political environment as raw material for Heal the Wounds and its sequel Rituals. Chifunyise’s plays are revealing the issues that are happening but are only whispered in our communities out of fear of reprisal. Kehinde cited by Nwagbara (2009:4) argues that for a writer to be relevant, there should be “a close relationship between his writing and his world, his society and life” Chifunyise writes Heal the Wounds and Rituals as a response to and a vehicle to steer community out of the socio-political ills surrounding him.

Heal the Wounds and Rituals are written to protest the failure by the state to quell the horror and violence people go through for exercising their democratic right to vote, a failure that can be construed as an endorsement of political violence, because political violence can be used as a tool to contain the people’s dissatisfaction with the status quo. Chifunyise as a transformative theatre playwright is contributing solutions 13 to people’s plights and advocating for the rights of the downtrodden in society through the transformation of their consciousness. According to Ngugi (1998), art needs to be active, engaged and insistent on being what it has always been, the embodiment of dreams for a truly human world.

Through Edward Bulwer-Lytton oft-quoted statement “the pen is mightier that the sword” we have insight into the long lasting and transformative energies of art in social transformation. Through Heal the Wounds and Rituals we see Chifunyise’s commitment to transform his world using intellectual militancy. Steve Biko argues that the mind is the most effective weapon in the hands of the oppressed people in order to change their condition and world. For this same reason, colonial masters operated beerhalls on farms with credit facilities for workers so that employees would be kept busy and drunk during periods which they could ponder over the meaning of their lives.

Chifunyise writes plays that generate debate and gives people an opportunity to think deeply about their lives and conditions. Chifunyise’s plays offer intellectual militancy, something more powerful and effective than the uncouth and temporary “victory” that violence cause as it is capable of going beyond the realm of the physical: ethically and morally based, touching the very foundation of truth. According to Soyinka “the route to the mind is not the path of the bullet or the path of the blade, but the invisible, yet palpable path of discourse that may be arduous but ultimately guarantees the enlargement of our private and social beings”. Gandhi refers to this as ‘non-violence resistance’. 14.

Chifunyise wants to convince people out of perpetrating political violence and not coerce them out of the act. After the communities had watched Chifunyise’s plays, they can then commit to stopping the carrying out of political violence or to forgiving those that perpetrated violence against them. According to Paulo Freire (1970:96) “revolution is achieved with neither verbalism nor activism rather with praxis, i. e with reflection and activism divided at the structures to be transformed” The structures to be transformed in this instance is the relations characterized by violence in Zimbabwe but this can be done after people are convinced in the mind and this is what Chifunyise seeks to do through his works.

Ken Saro-Wiwa (1994) asserts that literature serves society by steeping itself in politics, by intervention, and writers must not write to entertain or to be preoccupied, but should look at society critically. Chifunyise’s plays seek to transform society. Francis Waffert cited by Paulo Freire (1970) terms the making known of the details of social displeasure of oppressive systems, thereby making social transformation possible through tearing down the walls of unjust systems, over and above bringing lasting solutions to the problems made possible by brute force, “the awakening of critical consciousness” Chifunyise uses song, dance, comic and tragic effects to awaken critical consciousness of the communities characterized by political violence in a bid to achieve social transformation. 15.

Lastly but worth mention, theatre is business hence Chifunyise restricts himself to the topical issue of National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration which is of interest to the International community and as such attracts funding as evidenced by the 100 performances of Rituals in Zimbabwe’s Provinces within a space of two months, the production and distribution of 10, 000 free DVDs of the productions as well as regional tours which included South Africa, Kenya and Zambia. Chifunyise’s plays might not have been commissioned but could have been created with the Organisation for Transitional Initiatives (OTI) through Casals in mind as they fund already ongoing local Initiatives. This could be the reason why following 2002’s political violence Chifunyise wrote Wedding Night and Waiters series and not political plays. The Conceptual Framework 2.

2 The Comic

The comic is an important element of the human experience. Comic laughter brings comfort in times of crisis. Not being able to find a community with whom we can share comic experience causes feelings of loneliness. The main role of the comic is found in its social function. When an individual has a comical thought, it is because of the thought’s reference to social structures that the comic can be a source of enjoyment. The comic, then, plays the important role of creating and enforcing social norms. Sigmund Freud (1905) cited in Christopher P. Wilson (1979: 191) explains that the entertainment facade of the comic atones for the unacceptability of its content. 16.

Humour would act as a passport for otherwise unacceptable sentiments “brutal hostility forbidden by law is replaced by verbal invective” The joke provides one means to avoid suppression of aggression. Freud suggested that joking, because it evades the suppression of hostility, was suitable for attacks on the dignified and powerful, which are otherwise protected against direct painful attack and disapproval. The comic enables one to attack using what appears to be a compliment. According to Freud the comic serve three purposes namely; 1. Persuade the audience to reject the attitudes, values or behaviours of A 2. Persuade A to reject his own attitudes, values or behaviours 3.

Act as a social punishment causing A to suppress the expression of those attitudes, values or behaviours that were the subject of ridicule Kolk (2005:151) adds on to say that “In addition to be entertaining, a main function of the comic literature was to express social and political critique” Comedy works more political than tragedy, a comic performance serves through the ages as a social relief, is not easily forbidden by authorities and seems to be ungraspable for censorship in its sudden improvisations. Comic language uses symbols and metaphors which hide and show reality at the same time.

Comedy is a challenge to authority. It is an empowerment of the weak and underprivileged who triumphs only for one hour, to the marginalized who is relocated at the centre at least for a short while. Comedy is the intervention of an unusual power that breaks things but builds others, even if only for a short time. Ibid (2005:154) “Comedy pretends to speak in jest while being the height of serious thinking. A joke is a lie that reveals part of the 17 truth or at least suggests it” Use of satire is conventionally agreed to be persuasive.

However the comic has the occupational hazard of amusing the converted while antagonizing the convertible; and being persecuted, prosecuted, misinterpreted or merely ignored. Leaders of political parties that perpetrated political violence in the run up to June 28 election were not part of the audience who watched “Rituals” and this is common knowledge that such people do not attend theatre shows. Chifunyise would still use comic effect in the absence of the ridiculed because he is not sure of the audience and ridicule expresses criticism in a jocular way and the combined message of the joke is ambiguous, simultaneously expressing frivolity and seriousness. The comic elements because they are revolutionary and radical in their content express messages that could not be accepted if stated seriously.

The comic effect therefore becomes easing potential friction that could be caused by criticism because humor is a socially acceptable form of criticism, a catharsis that is memorable and respectable. Sigmund Freud’s theory of humor contended that humor, like sleep, is therapeutic. But even more importantly, he argued that wit can express in a relatively appropriate way urges and feelings that cannot otherwise be let loose, such as the desire to act on regressive infantile sexual or aggressive behavior. Freud believed that a lack of humor can be a sign of mental illness. Psychologist J. C. Flugel cited by Helitzer (2005) wrote, “We laugh in order to socially accomplish childish regression without feeling foolish.

We adopt a playful mood, excusable as relaxation. ” This may explain why comic strips are the most universally accepted format of humor among adults, 18 regardless of nationality or culture. Psychologists have always been interested in explaining human behavior through humor. Humor is an important manifestation of what society really believes, but dares not speak or teach. “We can’t confront tragedy directly,” suggests Joseph Boskin of Boston University, “so we try to ease ourselves in a humorous way. ” Laughing at misfortune frequently replaces negative feelings with positive feelings. This is true whether we’re laughing at someone else’s misfortune or our own.

Sigmund Freud, who studied humor (but not for the fun of it), theorized that jokes allow us to express unconscious aggressive and sexual impulses, to substitute words for what we may not be able to accomplish in deeds. Adrian Stanley underscores the importance of comedy when he laments Gunner (1994:228) … The country badly needs a comedy, a local comedy. I think it’s time we laughed at ourselves a bit. We have got quite enough to worry about… I think that the famous Greek tragedy, Oedipus Rex, would translate very well into an African setting. Ridicule is used not only to expose the vice and the folly of the powers that be but to discourage this behavior thereby bringing transformation.

Aristophanes summarizes 19 this in The Frog (393-4) when he says “And let me say many laughable things and many serious things, too”, 2. 3 The Tragic Tragedies generally depict “the tragic sense of life” which is the sense that human beings are certainly doomed because of their failures or mistakes and sometimes ironic action of their virtues. Aristotle, in his Poetics, claimed that the purpose of a tragedy is to arouse pity and fear and to produce in the audience a catharsis of these emotions. A catharsis is a pleasant feeling of relief of such emotions. Aristotle first defined tragedy in his Poetics around 330 BC, and all subsequent discussions of tragic form have been influenced by his concepts.

According to Aristotle, “Tragedy, then, is an imitation of a noble and complete action, having the proper magnitude; it employs language that has been artistically enhanced . . . ; it is presented in dramatic, not narrative form, and achieves, through the representation of pitiable and fearful incidents, the catharsis of such incidents. ” Aristotle says that fear and pity maybe aroused by spectacle or the structure of the play method, the plot is “the soul of a tragedy” Such a plot involves a protagonist who is better than ordinary people, and this person must be brought from happiness to misery. Else (1957) however argues that tragic catharsis is not the emotional effect of tragedy on the audience.

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