Aristotle, On Tragic Character

Aristotle, On
Tragic Character
AP English IV/1301
Review text in the Bedford, 1506-1508
• The characters should be good—they will reveal their morals
in speech and action
• It is possible to portray goodness in people of all classes (women,
slaves…though Aristotle does state that they are an inferior class)
• The character should be appropriate—no female character
should behave manly.
• Characters should be life-like, which is something different
than making them good or appropriate
• Characters must be consistent—even if inconsistency is their
Properties of Character
• In the characters and in the plot-construction alike, one
must strive for that which is either necessary or probable,
so that whatever a character of any kind says or does may
be the sort of thing such a character will inevitably say or
do and the events of the plot may follow one after another
either inevitably or with probability…..(Obviously, then,
the denouement of the plot should arise from the plot
itself and not be brought “from the machine” {deus ex
In his own words….