An Aesthetic Experience in the Theatre 101: An Inevitable Tragedy Part 1
Learning from Ignorance
From its earliest beginnings in Greek Tragedy through its history to the modern day, drama has exerted a fascination for philosophical aesthetics. There have been times when drama has responded to this critique and times when it has blithely followed its own course. This series of articles aims to follow some of the continuities and the evolutions in drama - to give a selected overview of the interest that drama has held for aesthetics, whilst examining the idea of an aesthetic experience in the theatre.
1. Aesthetic Experience in the Theatre 101: Why have Art? What is Theatre's Place?
2. Aesthetic Experience in the Theatre 101: An Inevitable Tragedy, Part 1
3. Aesthetic Experience in the Theatre 101: An Inevitable Tragedy, Part 2
4. Aesthetic Experience in the Theatre 101: Theatre of Cruelty
5. Aesthetic Experience in the Theatre 101: Theatre of the Absurd
6. Aesthetic Experience in the Theatre 101: Silence in the Theatre
It is largely by way of the protagonists as they are represented in the tragedies of Greek drama that the action unfolds, albeit determined by fate. It could be said that the characters assist, often unwittingly, in the inevitability of their own fate. In a sense these protagonists can learn nothing about their own characters – at least not in a way that can be of any help to them, and therefore the theatre is not instructive for the characters within it; either they are bound, internally, by the inevitability of fate or they are bound, representationally, by the inevitability of the dramatist’s pen.
For the audience, however, the theatre may be instructive, and what is revelatory in the drama (specifically in tragic drama) can reveal something otherwise unknown in themselves. Aristotle felt that “the structure of tragedy at its best” involved the sort of charact