Elements of a Shakespearean Tragedy

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ELEMENTS OF A
SHAKESPEAREAN
TRAGEDY
EXPOSITION
Time and place is established
Main characters, their positions,
circumstances, and relationships to one
another are revealed
Sets up the mood and conditions
Exposition
Act I
Exposition
EXCITING FORCE
This is what gets the plot going
It begins the conflict which will continue in
the play
Also called the complication or initial
incidentForce
Exciting
Act I
Exciting Force
RISING ACTION
The series of conflicts which lead up to the
climax of the play
Action
ActsRising
I, II, and
III
Rising Action
CLIMAX
Climax
The turning point of the play
Act III
Climax
FALLING ACTION
The consequences of the turning point
occur
Falling Action
New conflicts may result
Occurs over several acts
Acts III, IV, and V
Falling Action
CATASTROPHE
The play concludes with the hero’s death
The hero must die for divine retribution
Act V
Catastrophe
Catastrophe
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