ARISTOTLE’S theory catharsis | What is catharsis, definition, meaning, theory and hypothesis

ARISTOTLE’S theory of catharsis, what is catharsis, definition, meaning, theory and hypothesis

ARISTOTLE’S CONCEPT or theory of CATHARSIS in poetics If we consider the concept of catharsis on the surface level it will give the idea about the release of strong emotions. The concept of catharsis is proper and valid for the concept of tragedy. Aristotle has pointed the term catharsis once in the course of poetics. But the term can be interpreted in many ways and at different levels and it has different types of meaning and definition. ARISTOTLE’S theory, what is catharsis, definition, meaning, theory and hypothesis is taken by book Poetics, which is hinted not clear 
There comes no definition or meaning of ‘catharsis’ from poetics
ARISTOTLE’S CONCEPT OF CATHARSIS is very much clear in his book Poetics. He was never intended to describe the idea of catharsis. There comes no definition or explanation with reference to the term from the course of poetics. The critics and the writers tried to interpret the idea on its own.
The term catharsis has three different meaning as well definition
Some critics have tried to relate the concept with the meaning and definition of purgation, purification and clarification. They have extracted the interpretations from the other works of Aristotle.
The word catharsis comes from the definition of tragedy
We can consider the definition of tragedy in order to extract ARISTOTLE’S concept of catharsis. He states in his poetics; ‘’through pity and fear effecting the proper Catharsis, or purgation, of these emotions.’’ There is depicted a relationship between the concept of pity and fear arousing from the tragedy and the concept of catharsis.
Tragic emotions of pity and fear
Tragic emotions in the tragedy are represented by the outlet of pity and fear. The various factors in the tragedy contribute to arouse the feeling of pity and fear. Aristotle is always concerned with the unhappy ending of the tragedy. He finds the unhappy ending fit for the execution of tragedy. Tragedy depicts the fall of the man from a happy state to a miserable state. This downfall of the hero arouses feelings of pity and fear in us. We may associate our lives with the case of the hero. We suffer in response to the action of the tragic hero. Oedipus Rex gouges his eyes in order to punish himself. Because he has committed the dreadful act of murder of his own father. Here we can see that fear arouses within us because of the execution of the murder. But we also feel pity for his murdered father; as he was killed by his own son. We feel pity for him because he fell from prosperity to adversity and now is going to be exiled soon as the result of his own damnation. He decided the punishment for himself. We feel pity because his own mother tried to kill him when he was an infant in order to deny the commands of the oracle. So we can see that the concept of fear and pity is associated with many situations. We will not feel pity often in the case of the man who is a stranger to us. But if we find the horrible and dreadful scene at the strange place we will become horrified at the result of that execution. The most critical situation is depicted to arouse the feeling of pity and fear when the crime is committed by the family member. So we can see that in the case of Louis and Oedipus, they did harm to each other through a strange battle. But the case also involves the concept of ANAGNORSIS and Discovery. The concept of pity is introduced when the actual truth is revealed.

The hero came to know about certain realities. But the wave of fear is being been tolerated at the moment of execution. The unhappy ending of the tragedies arouses to develop a feeling of sympathy towards the tragic hero. Aristotle is always in the favor of the execution of single action. He does not consider the concept of poetic justice for tragedies. He just presents the ideas of catharsis in order to bring a moral conscience at the end. Greek always considered tragedy as a serious tragic action. They did not consider an unhappy ending in some cases of a tragic play. Aristotle considers that the HAMARTIA and the discovery are responsible for the outlet of these two emotions. The characters of tragedy suffer due to their error of judgment. Their miscalculation leads them to act in a particular way. They commit horrible and insane actions by exercising their HAMARTIA. Oedipus has killed his own father due to his excessive pride. He does not respond o the truth told by the old Prophet. He used to condemn him and Creon for making him suspect. But at the later part when he came to know about the real story of his life he was grieved and repented on his past behavior.
The purification theory of ‘catharsis

The purification theory of ‘catharsis
The purification theory of catharsis

For the ARISTOTLE’S CONCEPT OF CATHARSIS in Poetics Some critics have tried to explain the catharsis as the purification theory. The purification involves the refinement of the character and the reader as well. It tries to cover the logical reasoning and the moral defects of human nature and personality. It is based on the role of moral conditioning. The concept of pity and fear evolved by the tragic plays tries to refine and purify our emotions. We may feel pleasure and purification when there is the execution of punishment for the sinner. We feel dissolved and purified.




The clarification theory of catharsis
The clarification theory of catharsis

To ARISTOTLE’S CONCEPT OF CATHARSIS in Poetics Aristotle works on the principle ‘pleasure proper to it’. Aristotle gives the idea that the concept of pleasure comes from the imitation of some natural ideas. if a sinner is punished for his sins, we feel a wave of joy at this moment. This employs a process of learning for the readers also. If the tragic hero undergoes suffering and drastic change, it will initiate a process of learning and clarity. The horrible situations also involve the process of clarity and learning. Pleasure is peculiar to tragedy and regarded as the basic function of tragedy. We feel pleasure when a tragic hero realizes the real truth and insight of truth. When Oedipus came to repent after murdering his father this thing arouses feeling of pity and pleasure in us. He never stresses on the use of poetic justice. In short, ARISTOTLE’s CONCEPT OF CATHARSIS in poetics on the surface level it will give the idea about the release of strong emotions, purification, clarification and so on in his book poetics.

>Click here for CONCEPT OF THE IDEAL TRAGIC HERO IN POETICS BY ARISTOTLE| definition, characteristics of a tragic hero in poetics

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