What is tragedy?

  • (noun): Drama in which the protagonist is overcome by some superior force or circumstance; excites terror or pity.
    See also — Additional definitions below


Tragedy (Ancient Greek: τραγῳδία, tragōidia, "he-goat-song") is a form of drama based on human suffering that invokes in its audience an accompanying catharsis or pleasure in the viewing. While many cultures have developed forms that provoke this paradoxical response, the term tragedy often refers to a specific tradition of drama that has played a unique and important role historically in the self-definition of Western civilization. That tradition has been multiple and discontinuous, yet the term has often been used to invoke a powerful effect of cultural identity and historical continuity—"the Greeks and the Elizabethans, in one cultural form; Hellenes and Christians, in a common activity," as Raymond Williams puts it.

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Some articles on tragedy:

Case Unclosed - 2009 Episodes - December
... Directed by Ric Reyes Trahedya sa Perya (Tragedy at the Carnival) On Christmas Day 2006, the Picardal family went into a carnival in Marikina ... But, tragedy strucked to Kimberly and Katherine Picardal ... carnival, but the child was disabled by the tragedy ...
Cats That Look Like Hitler - Public Response
... has offended the public and put a serious historical tragedy in comedic light ... claiming that we "can't ignore" these responses to tragedy ... The humor in the website can help people to "get over tragedy" and then "put (the situation) behind them so they can learn from it and move on." ...
Tragedy - Similar Dramatic Forms in World Theatre - Ancient Indian Drama
... The celebrated ancient Indian epic, Mahabharata, can also be related to tragedy in some ways ...

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Famous quotes containing the word tragedy:

    The weakness of modern tragedy ... [is that] transgression against the social code is made to bring destruction, as though the social code worked our irrevocable fate.
    —D.H. (David Herbert)

    The world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those who feel.
    Horace Walpole (1717–1797)