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Ibsen’s Ghosts Vs.Aristotle’s Poetics

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Ibsen’s Ghosts Vs.Aristotle’s Poetics

Ibsen's Ghosts, although a relatively modern drama, maintains many classical

elements of tragedy as defined by Aristotle and championed by the ancient Greek

playwrights and poets. One element of displayed prominently in this case is

character. Aristotle believed that there were four main elements to a good tragic hero:

1) the character must be good, 2) decorum, 3) the character must be true to life, and

4) constancy within the characters demeanor and actions. The tragic hero in Ibsen's

Ghosts, Mrs. Alving, fits into these criterion, yet Ibsen also strays from Aristotle's


"The character will be good if the purpose is good." (pg. 27), according to

Poetics. Ibsen attempts to create a good character in Mrs. Alving. Although she

makes many mistakes and her judgments lead to the ultimate tragedy her intentions

are good. "Yes, I was swayed by duty and consideration for others; that was why I

lied to my son day in and

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