"Now, according to our definition Tragedy is an imitation of an action that is complete, and whole, and of a certain magnitude; for there may be a whole that is wanting in magnitude. A whole is that which has a beginning, a middle, and an end. A beginning is that which does not itself follow anything by causal necessity, but after which something naturally is or comes to be. An end, on the contrary, is that which itself naturally follows some other thing, either by necessity, or as a rule, but has nothing following it. A middle is that which follows something as some other thing follows it. A well constructed plot, therefore, must neither begin nor end at haphazard, but conform to these principles."
(Aristotle, The Poetics, Part VII, The Internet Classics Archive)
"Nature tends towards certain ends; when it fails to achieve those objectives, art and science intervene. Man, as part of nature, also has certain ends in view: health, gregarious life in the State, happiness, virtue, justice, etc. When he fails in the achievement of those objectives, the art of tragedy intervenes. This correction of man's actions is what Aristotle calls catharsis.
Tragedy, in all its qualitative and quantitative aspects, exists as a function of the effect it seeks, catharsis. All the unities of tragedy are structured around this concept. It is the centre, the essence, the purpose of the tragic system. Unfortunately, it is also the most controversial concept. Catharsis is correction: what does it correct? Catharsis is purification: what does it purify?"
(Augusto Boal 1993, p.27)
Boal, Augusto. 1993 Theatre of the Oppressed, London, UK: Pluto Press.
"In a brief but suggestive passage from his Ten Books on Architecture, Leone Battista Alberti, the fifteenth-century Renaissance poet, philosopher, and architect, sets public performance into a frame of social exchange. His subject being architecture, he arrives in his eighth book at the point of discussing 'Places for publick Shows.' ...
In placing the Actor within the wider category of public shows, Alberti reminds us of the organic connections among all forms of performance. He is at the opposite pole from Aristotle who considered drama a branch of literary art. What Alberti identifies as Show, Aristotle catalogued as an inferior part of tradegy: spectacle. Alberti's practice coincided with and reinforced the practice of his contemporaries and successors. Until the renaissance, most of these were rhetoricians. Their five parts of rhetoric-the number into which the subject was most frequently divided-included delivery. Here, it would seem, was an opportunity to discuss public performance since delivery concerned the manner of speaking. But quite contrary. Writing on delivery illustrates the conventional and persistent subordination of the event of speaking to the composition of speech. So prevalent was this way of ordering the parts of rhetoric and poetics that rare indeed was the person who conceived of performance as an independent entity."
(Bernard Beckerman, 1990)
Beckerman, Bernard. 1990 p.Prologue X. Theatratical Presentation, New York, USA: Routledge.
"Again, Tragedy is the imitation of an action; and an action implies personal agents, who necessarily possess certain distinctive qualities both of character and thought; for it is by these that we qualify actions themselves, and these- thought and character- are the two natural causes from which actions spring, and on actions again all success or failure depends. Hence, the Plot is the imitation of the action- for by plot I here mean the arrangement of the incidents. By Character I mean that in virtue of which we ascribe certain qualities to the agents. Thought is required wherever a statement is proved, or, it may be, a general truth enunciated. Every Tragedy, therefore, must have six parts, which parts determine its quality- namely, Plot, Character, Diction, Thought, Spectacle, Song. Two of the parts constitute the medium of imitation, one the manner, and three the objects of imitation. And these complete the fist. These elements have been employed, we may say, by the poets to a man; in fact, every play contains Spectacular elements as well as Character, Plot, Diction, Song, and Thought.
According to Aristotle every tragedy has 6 parts, appearing in order from most important to least important: Plot; Character; Diction; Thought; Spectacle; Song."
1). Aristotle (350 B.C.E). 'Poetics', Part VI, translated by S. H. Butcher