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Hi guys and welcome to BTT � Behind the Tragedy. We have a great show for you this morning, with an interview with Mr. B. Loon and of course, as requested by our viewers, their favorite segment ‘To be or not to be?’

But firstly, lets take a look at what Aristotle sees as some of the essential elements of tragedy � mimesis, peripateia, anagnorosis and catharsis. Their parents were cruel when it came to names.

Mimesis is an imitation of a real or mythical event.

Peripateia is due to the main characters hermatia, or flaw, and results in a reversal of fortune. This causes the hero to commit an ‘act of shame’. Also included in peripateia is what feeling the character goes through as a result of the reversal.

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Anagnorosis is when the character admits to their fault, and sees their flaw, comes to some sort of understanding and usually dies.

And catharsis is an attempt to explain the feelings of pity and fear the audience endure during the performance. She enjoys moonlit walks on the beach and long baths….with anagnorosis. (do the stairs)

Okies, now lets find some examples from Baz Luhrmann’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’ and Sophocles’ ‘Oedipus Rex’.

Ok, so first we will look at tragic hero or heroes. The tragic hero in Oedipus Rex is Oedipus Rex.

The tragedy of Oedipus Rex is that he commits two horrible crimes and that he ultimately fulfilled the destiny he was so desperate to avoid. This tragedy is then multiplied by the fact that he refuses to admit his guilt, which shows us his tragic flaw.

Pride. This was his flaw. This pride is also known as ‘hubris’ � a foolish belief that ones powers go beyond those of authority or destiny.

In Greek tragedy the tragic situation, in which the characters find themselves, is always a situation in which man seems to be deprived of all outward help and is forced to rely entirely on himself. This is seen in Oedipus Rex when Oedipus pokes out his eyes with a brooch � he feels there is nothing he can do, and there is no one to help him. What a tweaker.

In tragedy’s there is always a choice Choice is at the heart of tragedy. � Oedipus chose to marry his mother, not realizing that they are related. (or so we hope!) This is what makes Greek tradgedy’s so entertaining � the hero must make a choice, which -whatever it is - can never be the right choice and brings great suffering for him.

The tragic hero always comes to some sort of understanding � like , oh I don’t know, that you killed your dad, married your mum, and caused a plague. Slow clap……go Oedipus!

Anyway, this indicates that the individual is responsible not only for his own fortunes, but also for the fortunes of society. Everybodys fate is connected in some way with the others.

And, of course, then there is the audiences reaction, you know, the sickening feeling in the pit of tour stomach when you found out Oedipus married his mother?!?!?! Yeah, that’s something like catharsis � but also the feeling of pity that you had for him.

Another common feature of tragedy’s is the use of a chorus, as in Oedipus Rex.

In Baz Luhrmanns Romeo and Juliet, Baz uses this tragic form to create a film for modern audiences, through the use of costumes, the choice of actors, the music and various other techniques. The first thing Baz did was change the chorus into a television reporter, which obviously made it appeal to modern audiences as it is a modern medium.

Now if you will all welcome Mr. Bob Loon!

Bob, who do you think the tragic heroes where in Romeo and Juliet?


Ahhhh… Romeo and Juliet. This is a little different to Oedipus, where there is one hero.

Don’t you think, Bob, that the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet is obviously the death of the two tragic hero’s, but it’s not just that. Because of the chorus at the beginning we know that they will die. The tragedy is also how their death comes to be, and the circumstances surrounding their death.


Oh, really? You really think that the flaw of Romeo and Juliet is their immaturity � that they are young and painfully ignorant. And that Baz presents their ignorance as a form of innocence to appeal to a modern audience. And by presenting Romeo and Juliet as innocent, this makes their death even more tragic for the audience?

Do you think that when Romeo takes the poison , it is because he feels that there is nothing else he can do and he has no one to help him now that Juliet is gone. And that upon discovering his body, Juliet feels the same. She is alone, with what she perceives as little choice but suicide?


Yeah I agree. Many choices are made by Romeo and Juliet throughout the film, and the choices they made ultimately caused great suffering for them. Juliet chose to take the potion, Romeo chose to take the poison, and Juliet chose to commit suicide. To make this appeal to a modern audience, Juliet did this using a gun, as a gun is more commonly used nowadays than a sword.

Did you notice that unlike the original version by Shakespeare, in Baz’z production, Juliet wakes in time to see Romeo take the poison, and after he takes it, Romeo turns to find Juliet awake. This is the how Romeo and Juliet come to the horrible realization that he is dying and she was not dead. This makes their death so much more emotional and tragic, and is much more involving for the modern audience.


Oh, ok, you didn’t notice it. Fair enough.


Yeah, true, true. Their love affair, and death, did effected the whole society in which they lived. Because he married Juliet, Romeo would not fight Tybalt. Therefore, perhaps if he had not married her, Mercutio and ultimately Tybalt would not have died. Their love caused even more conflict among the two families. Because their two families were of such high profile, this conflict effected the whole society.

Don’t you think that, despite the audiences knowledge that Romeo and Juliet were going to die, there was the hope that they wouldn’t. I know I had a quick swipe away of tears in the darkened cinema when they did. Baz made you fall in love with the two tragic heroes, which made it all the harder to let them go.


What was that? You have one last thing to say?


Oh thanks! I got them at the clothing pool. Thanks for joining us Mr. B. Loon. Alright we just have time to play ‘to be or not to be’.

Our victims this week are Oeidipus and his mum. Should they be together? Is it true love? To be or not to be?

NOT TO BE! Reason why they shouldn’t be together (well I think this is obvious) She wears brooches. Oh, right, and she’s his MOTHER!

Thanks for joining us guys! See ya next week, and say hi to ya dad for me.

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