Baroque Trauerspiel in William Shakespeare's Hamlet: A Rejection of Aristotelian Tragedy
Tragedy, as a literary genre and a high form of literature, deals with lives of noble people. This type of drama is rooted in Aristotle's formulation which later has resulted into theory of drama known as Freytag's Pyramid. This model of drama which follows Greek version of tragedy has some common features including unity of time, place, and action. Moreover, the elements of death, language, and melancholy have been treated in the conventional ways in the genre f tragedy. However, Walter Benjamin, the German philosopher and critic has opposed to the dominance of tragedy, and developed an independent genre called Trauer Trauerspiel in which ordinary people get to be the center of the play. Unlike tragedy which is based on myth, Trauer Trauerspiel is based on history that depicts the reality of life. Moreover, this genre has the trace of postmodern literature in which language has no meaning; death is treated in non-religious way, and melancholy is no longer considered to be a mental disease. By the same token, it could be claimed that Shakespeare's Hamlet, as a dominant form of tragedy, can no longer be considered as tragedy; since it repulses conventions of tragedy and Freytag's Pyramid, it belongs to a new genre, Trauer Trauerspiel in which Greek dramas' features can be dethroned and replaced by postmodern aspects of drama.
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