Aristotle’s 6 elements of Drama have provided a firm foundation to story writing.
In the play ‘Hamlet’ , Aristotle’s theory of plot is obvious. Aristotle explains the plot to be the story.
The ‘Exposition’, the setting of the plot. ‘Hamlet’ opens with the information of the incestual marriage between his Mother and Uncle.
The ‘Climax’, when Hamlet discovers that his Uncle has murdered his father a chain reaction begins. Hamlet’s procrastination enables many turning points.
E.g. Hamlet refusing to kill Claudius.
“To take him in the purging of his soul,
When he is fit and season’d for his passage?
(Shakespeare. Hamlet. 1999.)
In ‘Hamlet’ the ending of the plot truly depicts tragedy. This is the ‘Denouement’.
Aristotle describes tragedy as “…an imitation of an action that is serious, complete, and of a certain magnitude; in language embellished with each kind of artistic ornament, the several kinds being found in separate parts of the play; in the form of action, not of narrative; through pity and fear effecting the proper purgation of these emotions”
Catharsis is seen in ‘Hamlet’ through out the play. The audience is left feeling drained. This is known as the “purging” of emotion.
In the Film ‘Il Postino’, the protagonist Mario falls under Aristotle’s theory of characters. Mario is the perfect example for “Reversal”.
Mario is a lonely man stuck on an Island.
“…charater determines men’s quailities, but it is by their actions that they are happy or the reverse.”
(Aristotle. Poetics. 2007)
His fortune changes from bad to good when he meets Beatrice who he serenades with poetry.
“Your smile is a rose. Your laugh is a sudden silvery wave.”
(Il Postino. 1994)
After Mario and Beatrice wed, Mario is at a politics rally where his fate changes from good to bad when he is shot.
Although this is in Aristotle’s theory a “Tragedy” the ending of the film depicts Mario died happy, leaving the audience with a feeling of resolution but also pity.