Essay on The Basics of Tragedy

Submitted By dracon44
Words: 476
Pages: 2

Tragedy: the basic background

Tragedy has a tendency to mean different things to different people, with one of the most common concepts being an event that makes a person’s life take a turn for the worse, such as a death or a failed test. And in some aspects this is true in drama. The oxford Dictionary defines Tragedy as a play dealing with tragic events and having an unhappy ending, especially one concerning the downfall of the main character, this is true. One of the original concepts and ideas behind tragedy as implored by the ancient greeks was to give people an understanding of our lives as represented through fictitious media, within classic times the focus had a tendency to focus on the relationship between the gods and the people. And since the classic times, right up until the modern day the tragedy has been amongst the most enjoyed medium themes with this being due to the mix of emotion that it has on its audience, sorrow and despair on the behalf of the suffering soul and yet pleasure in the representation of angst and pain.

The philosopher Aristotle once depicted the definition and attributes of a tragedy in his writings, the Poetics, his writings concluded the key features of a tragedy. The protagonist/s is to be of a nobility or have an air of nobility about him or as Aristotle said “megalopsychia”, this reflecting common in Shakespeare's plays where in many of his tragedies such as Macbeth but also in the Merchant of Venice where the protagonist is not of noble birth but of a high class. The purpose of this so that the inevitable fall in a tragedy is seen to have a greater impact on the audience, to see a character to go from such highs as riches and power to lows of disease and even death. Aristotle’s key concept of the tragic hero is the idea of the…