discussion 200 words 16
Wilson makes a point about different kinds of characters, and his point actually goes back to the ancient Greeks. Aristotle, in The Poetics, suggests that tragedies are about heroes, or people of a certain importance in life. For many years this thinking seems to have persisted. One of the many contributions of modern theatre is the belief that greatness can be found in any person, regardless of station in life. Today we tend to talk about these kinds of characters in what Wilson call extraordinary or quintessential. Take, for example, Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman. Willy Loman, the main character, is quintessential; even his name tells us this: Lo(w)man. Miller made the point that tragedy occurs in lives of all men and women.
Think about a play (or film) you have read or seen. Would you describe the main character(s) as extraordinary or quintessential? Is there a reason? Do you think 21st century drama more often is about quintessential or extraordinary characters? Why