Alcmaeon for instance and Oedipus and Orestes and Meleager and Thyestes and Telephus and all the others whom it befell to suffer or inflict terrible disasters.
Judged then by the theory of the art, the best [Note] tragedy is of this construction.
Those critics are therefore wrong who charge Euripides with doing this in his tragedies, and say that many of his end in misfortune.
That is, as we have shown, correct. And there is very good evidence of this, for on the stage and in competitions such plays appear the most tragic of all, if they are successful, and even if Euripides is in other respects a bad manager, [Note] yet he is certainly the most tragic of the poets.
Next in order comes the structure which some put first, that which has a double issue, like the Odyssey, and ends in opposite ways for the good characters and the bad.
It is the sentimentality of the audience which makes this seem the best form; for the poets follow the wish of the spectators.
But this is not the true tragic pleasure but rather characteristic of comedy, where those who are bitter enemies in the story, Orestes and Aegisthus, for instance, go off at the end, having made friends, and nobody kills anybody.