In the Poetics (384-322)BC, Aristotle formulatas six formative elements for the recognition of a proper tragedy. They are plot. character, thought, diction, spectacle and song(Music). Of these elements, the plot is the first essential of tragedy and character takes second place. Plot, character and thought constitute the objects of imitation. These three elements are internal aspects and another three, namely diction, spectacle and song are external aspects. Diction and song are concerned with the medium of imitation, while spectacle, with the manner of imitation.
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- Plot: Plot is the arrangement of incidents of a tragedy. It is regarded as the soul of tragedy. Plots are mainly two types: simple and complex.
- Character: Character is that which enables us to define the nature of the participants. According to Aristotle, characters should be good, appropriate, life-like and consistent.
- Diction: It is the arrangement of the verses. It is the language through which characters express themselves.
- Thought: It is the ability to say what is possible and appropriate in any tragic circumstances. It is the intellectual element in a tragedy.
- Spectacle: It means the appearance of the actors on stage, costume, scenic effects and so on.
- Music or Song: Song is found mainly in the choric parts of a tragedy. It is one of the sources of pleasure of tragedy.