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There are several main feature to an ideal plot in tragedy according to Aristotle's Poetics. First, the action of the plot may be either single or double. It must be of a certain magnitude and seriousness. The tragic plot must revolve around people who have a certain measure of greatness, but may have some inherent character flaw leading to their downfall. The tragedy should display unities of time, place and action. A tragedy must be complete in having a beginning, middle, and an end. Most plots contain a moment of reversal, when an act of a character results in an inevitable but unintended consequence. Aristotle defines tragedy as follows:
...an imitation of an action that is serious, complete, and of a certain magnitude; in language embellished with each kind of artistic ornament, ... in the form of action, not of narrative; through pity and fear effecting the proper purgation of these emotions.
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