Theatre of the Oppressed by Augusto Boal

By Augusto Boal

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Second Type: Hamartia Versus Hamartia Versus the Perfect Social Ethos. The tragedy presents two characters who meet, two tragic heroes, each one with his flaw, who destroy each other before an ethically perfect society. This is the typical case of Antigoneand Creon, both very fine persons in every way with the exception of their respective flaws. In these cases, the spectator must necessarily empathize with both characters, not only one, since the tragic process must purify him of two hamartias.

Right and wrong, good and bad - these can be known only in relation to practice. Nor could any law or tradition, but only the material and concrete world, provide him with the sure ways to attain power. Praxis was the second law of the bourgeoisie. Virtd praxis were and are the two touchstones of the bourgeoisie, its two principal characteristics. Obviously one cannot conclude from this that only he who was not a! noblema n could possess virt trust in praxis, and much less that every bourgeois had necessarily to possess those qualities, under penalty of ceasing to be a bourgeois.

It can be the recognition made by the character himself, and thus empathically this recognition is transferred to the spectator. But in any case, the recognition is made by the character with whom an empathic relationship exists. It is risky not to produce anagnorisis, or to do it poorly or insufficiently. One must remember that the spectator initially has his own flaw stimulated, and failure to understand the fact that it is a flaw will increase its destructive power. It can also happen that the spectator will empathically follow the character until the peripeteia begins and will abandon him from that moment on.

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