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Encyclopedia > Tragedy
Literature
Major forms

Epic · Romance · Novel
Tragedy · Comedy · Drama A tragedy is a literary work with an unhappy outcome. ... Old book bindings at the Merton College library. ... The epic is a broadly defined genre of narrative poetry, characterized by great length, multiple settings, large numbers of characters, or long span of time involved. ... As a literary genre, romance or chivalric romance refers to a style of heroic prose and verse narrative current in Europe from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance. ... This article is about the literary concept. ... A comedy is a dramatic performance of a light and amusing character, usually with a happy conclusion to its plot. ... For other uses, see Drama (disambiguation). ...

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Performance · Book Buskers perform in San Francisco A performance, in performing arts, generally comprises an event in which one group of people (the performer or performers) behave in a particular way for another group of people (the audience). ... For other uses, see Book (disambiguation). ...

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Prose · Poetry Prose is writing distinguished from poetry by its greater variety of rhythm and its closer resemblance to everyday speech. ... This article is about the art form. ...

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Literary awards · Poetry awards Literature is prose, written or oral, including fiction and non-fiction, drama and poetry. ... The following is a list of literary terms; that is, those words used in discussion, classification, criticism, and analysis of literature. ... The history of literature is the historical development of writings in prose or poetry which attempt to provide entertainment, enlightenment, or instruction to the reader/hearer/observer, as well as the development of the literary techniques used in the communication of these pieces. ... This article is homosexual and should be burned the second in a series of The History of Literature. ... These are lists of books: List of books by title List of books by author Lists of authors List of anonymously published works (List of Hiberno-Saxon illustrated manuscripts) List of books by genre or type List of books by award or notoriety List of books by year of publication... The following are lists of authors and writers: By name A – B – C – D – E – F – G – H – I – J – K – L – M – N – O – P – Q – R – S – T &#8211... It has been suggested that the section Literature from the article List of prizes, medals, and awards be merged into this article or section. ... This is a list of awards that are, or have been, given out to writers of poetry, either for a specific poem, collection of poems, or body of work. ...

Discussion

Criticism · Theory · Magazines Literary criticism is the study, discussion, evaluation, and interpretation of literature. ... Literary theory is the theory (or the philosophy) of the interpretation of literature and literary criticism. ... A literary magazine is a periodical devoted to literature in a broad sense. ...

In a figurative sense a tragedy (from Classical Greek τραγωδία, "song for the bird", see below) is any event with a sad and unfortunate outcome, but the term also applies specifically in Western culture to a form of drama defined by Aristotle characterized by seriousness and dignity and involving a great person who experiences a reversal of fortune (Peripeteia). (Aristotle's definition can include a change of fortune from bad to good as in the Eumenides, but he says that the change from good to bad as in Oedipus Rex is preferable because this effects pity and fear within an audience.) According to Aristotle, "The structure of the best tragedy should be one that represents for that is peculiar to this form of art."[1] This reversal of fortune must be caused by the tragic hero's hamartia, which is often mistranslated as a character flaw, but is more correctly translated as a mistake (since the original Greek etymology traces back to hamartanein which is a sporting term which refers to an archer or spear-thrower missing his target)[2]. According to Aristotle, "The change to bad fortune which he undergoes in not due to any moral defect or flaw, but a mistake of some kind."[3] It is also a misconception that this reversal can be brought about by a higher power (e.g. the law, the gods, fate, or society), but if a character’s downfall is brought about by an external cause Aristotle describes this as a "misadventure" and not a tragedy.[4] The History of Greece extends back to the arrival of the Greeks in Europe some time before 1500 BC, even though there has only been an independent state called Greece since Turkey, Italy and Libya. ... For this articles equivalent regarding the East, see Eastern culture. ... For other uses, see Drama (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Aristotle (disambiguation). ... Peripeteia (Greek, ) is a reversal of circumstances, or turning point. ... For other uses, see Definition (disambiguation). ... In Greek mythology the Erinyes (the Romans called them the Furies) were female personifications of vengeance. ... Oedipus the King (also known as Oedipus Rex and Oedipus Tyrannos) is a Greek tragedy, written by Sophocles around 427 BC. The play was the second of Sophocles three Theban plays to be produced, but its events occur before those of Oedipus at Colonus or Antigone. ... Not to be confused with Empathy, Sympathy, or Compassion. ... For other uses, see Fear (disambiguation). ... Etymologies redirects here. ... Defect is the n00b of the animating world, everybody knows that he cannot and will not animate. ... Flaw is a nu metal/hard rock music group from Louisville, Kentucky. ... For other uses, see Law (disambiguation). ... This article discusses the term God in the context of monotheism and henotheism. ... For other uses, see Destiny (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Society (disambiguation). ... Misadventure can refer to: The Misadventures of Merlin Jones Misadventure of Mighty Plumber The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo The Misadventures of Saint Etienne The Misadventures of Tron Bonne Misadventures in Babysitting Misadventures in 3D Return to the Batcave: The Misadventures of Adam and Burt List of deaths by aircraft misadventure...

Contents

Etymology

The word's origin is Greek tragōidiā (Classical Greek τραγωδία) contracted from trag(o)-aoidiā = "goat song" from tragos = "goat" and aeidein = "to sing". This meaning may have referred to horse or goat costumes worn by actors who played the satyrs, or a goat being presented as a prize at a song contest and in both cases the reference would have been the respect for Dionysos. The History of Greece extends back to the arrival of the Greeks in Europe some time before 1500 BC, even though there has only been an independent state called Greece since Turkey, Italy and Libya. ... Sandhi is a cover term for a wide variety of phonological processes that occur at morpheme or word boundaries. ... A bald, bearded, horse-tailed satyr balances a winecup on his erect penis, a trick worthy of note, on an Attic red-figured psykter, ca. ... A prize is an award given to a person or a group of people to recognise and reward actions or achievements. ...


Old-English spellings such as tragoedy (cf. Latin tragoedia) and tragedie (cf. French tragédie) occur in early-modern and earlier works.


Origin

See also: Theatre of ancient Greece

The origins of tragedy in the West are obscure but it is certainly derived from the poetic and religious traditions of ancient Greece. Its roots may be traced more specifically to the dithyrambs, the chants and dances honoring the Greek god Dionysus, later known to the Romans as Bacchus. These drunken ecstatic performances were said to have been created by the satyrs, half-goat beings who surrounded Dionysus in his revelry. For other uses of Greek Theatre, see Greek theatre (disambiguation). ... The term ancient Greece refers to the periods of Greek history in Classical Antiquity, lasting ca. ... The dithyramb was originally an ancient Greek hymn sung to the god Dionysus. ... The bust of Zeus found at Otricoli (Sala Rotonda, Museo Pio-Clementino, Vatican) Greek mythology is the body of stories belonging to the Ancient Greeks concerning their gods and heroes, the nature of the world and the origins and significance of their own cult and ritual practices. ... This article is about the ancient deity. ... Ancient Rome was a civilization that grew from a small agricultural community founded on the Italian Peninsula circa the 9th century BC to a massive empire straddling the Mediterranean Sea. ... Bacchus is the name of: The Greek god of wine and fertility, Dionysus, known also as Eleutherios (a. ... Satyrs (Satyri) in Greek mythology are half-man half-beast nature spirits that haunted the woods and mountains, companions of Pan and Dionysus. ...


Phrynichus, son of Polyphradmon and pupil of Thespis, was one of the earliest of the Greek tragedians, "The honour of introducing Tragedy in its later acceptation was reserved for a scholar of Thespis in 511 BC, Polyphradmon's son, Phrynichus; he dropped the light and ludicrous cast of the original drama and dismissing Bacchus and the Satyrs formed his plays from the more grave and elevated events recorded in mythology and history of his country."[5], and some of the ancients regarded him as the real founder of tragedy. He gained his first poetical victory in 511 BC. However, P.W. Buckham writes (quoting August Wilhelm von Schlegel) that Aeschylus was the inventor of tragedy, "Aeschylus is to be considered as the creator of Tragedy: in full panoply she sprung from his head, like Pallas from the head of Jupiter. He clad her with dignity, and gave her an appropriate stage; he was the inventor of scenic pomp, and not only instructed the chorus in singing and dancing, but appeared himself as an actor. He was the first that expanded the dialogue, and set limits to the lyrical part of tragedy, which, however, still occupies too much space in his pieces." [6] Phrynichus, son of Polyphradmon and pupil of Thespis, was one of the earliest of the Greek tragedians. ... Thespis car, relief of the Giottos Belltower in Florence, Italy, Nino Pisano, 1334-1336 Thespis (1965), bronze sculpture by Robert Cook, commissioned for the opening of the Canberra Theatre Thespis of Icaria (6th century BC) is claimed to be the first person ever to have a man-gina According... Centuries: 7th century BC - 6th century BC - 5th century BC Decades: 560s BC - 550s BC - 540s BC - 530s BC - 520s BC - 510s BC - 500s BC - 490s BC - 480s BC - 470s BC - 460s BC Events and Trends Establishment of the Roman Republic March 12, 515 BC - Construction is completed on the... August Wilhelm von Schlegel (September 8, 1767 - May 12, 1845), German poet, translator and critic, was born at Hanover, where his father, Johann Adolf Schlegel (1721-1793), was a Lutheran pastor. ...


Later in ancient Greece, the word "tragedy" meant any serious (not comedy) drama, not merely those with a sad ending. A comedy is a dramatic performance of a light and amusing character, usually with a happy conclusion to its plot. ...


There is some dissent to the dithyrambic origins of tragedy mostly based in the differences between the shapes of their choruses and styles of dancing. A common descent from pre-Hellenic fertility and burial rites has been suggested. The dithyramb was originally an ancient Greek hymn sung to the god Dionysus. ... The term ancient Greece refers to the periods of Greek history in Classical Antiquity, lasting ca. ...


Tragedy depicts the downfall of a noble hero or heroine, usually through some combination of hubris, fate, and the will of the gods. The tragic hero's powerful wish to achieve some goal inevitably encounters limits, usually those of human frailty (flaws in reason, hubris, society), the gods (through oracles, prophets, fate), or nature. Aristotle says that the tragic hero should have a flaw and/or make some mistake (hamartia). The hero need not die at the end, but he / she must undergo a change in fortune. In addition, the tragic hero may achieve some revelation or recognition (anagnorisis--"knowing again" or "knowing back" or "knowing throughout" ) about human fate, destiny, and the will of the gods. Aristotle terms this sort of recognition "a change from ignorance to awareness of a bond of love or hate." Hamartia (Ancient Greek: ) is a word most famously used in Aristotles Poetics, where it is usually translated as a mistake or error in judgment. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...


Aristotle is very clear in his Poetics that tragedy proceeded from the authors of the Dithyramb.[7] Aristotles Poetics aims to give an account of poetry. ...


P.W. Buckham writes that the tragedy of the ancients resembled modern operatic performance,[8] and that the lighter sort of Iambic became Comic poets, the graver became Tragic instead of Heroic.[8]

Mask of Dionysus. Greek, Myrina, second century BCE
Mask of Dionysus. Greek, Myrina, second century BCE

Greek literature boasts three great writers of tragedy whose works are extant: Sophocles, Euripides and Aeschylus. The largest festival for Greek tragedy was the Dionysia held for five days in March, for which competition prominent playwrights usually submitted three tragedies and one satyr play each. The Roman theater does not appear to have followed the same practice. Seneca adapted Greek stories, such as Phaedra, into Latin plays; however, Senecan tragedy has long been regarded as closet drama, meant to be read rather than played. Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 555 × 600 pixel Image in higher resolution (1370 × 1480 pixel, file size: 1. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 555 × 600 pixel Image in higher resolution (1370 × 1480 pixel, file size: 1. ... This article is about the ancient deity. ... This article is about the Greek tragedian. ... A statue of Euripides. ... This article is about the ancient Greek playwright. ... The Dionysia was a large religious festival in ancient Athens in honour of the god Dionysus, the central event of which was the performance of tragedies and comedies. ... Papposilenus playing the crotals, theatrical type of the satyr play, Louvre Satyr plays were an ancient Greek form of tragicomedy, similar to the modern-day burlesque style. ... ‹ The template below (Expand) is being considered for deletion. ... Bust, traditionally thought to be Seneca, now identified by some as Hesiod. ... Phaedra, play by Seneca the Younger. ... For other uses, see Latin (disambiguation). ... Senecan tragedy, body of nine closet dramas (i. ... A closet drama is a play that is not intended to be performed onstage, but read by a solitary reader or, sometimes, out loud in a small group. ...


A favorite theatrical device of many ancient Greek tragedians was the ekkyklêma, a cart hidden behind the scenery which could be rolled out to display the aftermath of some event which had happened out of sight of the audience. This event was frequently a brutal murder of some sort, an act of violence which could not be effectively portrayed visually, but an action of which the other characters must see the effects in order for it to have meaning and emotional resonance. Another reason that the violence happened off stage was that the theatre was considered a holy place, so to kill someone on stage is to kill them in the real world. A prime example of the use of the ekkyklêma is after the murder of Agamemnon in the first play of Aeschylus' Oresteia, when the king's butchered body is wheeled out in a grand display for all to see. Variations on the ekkyklêma are used in tragedies and other forms to this day, as writers still find it a useful and often powerful device for showing the consequences of extreme human actions. Another such device was a crane, the mechane, which served to hoist a god or goddess on stage when they were supposed to arrive flying. This device gave origin to the phrase "deus ex machina" ("god out of a machine"), that is, the surprise intervention of an unforeseen external factor that changes the outcome of an event. Greek tragedies also sometimes included a chorus composed of singers to advance and fill in detail of the plot. The Oresteia is a trilogy of tragedies about the end of the curse on the House of Atreus, written by Aeschylus. ... The Oresteia is a trilogy of tragedies about the end of the curse on the House of Atreus, written by Aeschylus. ... A mechane was a crane used in Greek theatre, especially in the fifth and fourth centuries BC. Made of wooden beams and pulley systems, the device was used to lift an actor into the air, usually representing flight. ... For other uses, see Deus ex machina (disambiguation). ...


Nietzsche dedicated his famous early book, The Birth of Tragedy, to a discussion of the origins of Greek tragedy. He traced the evolution of tragedy from early rituals, through the joining of Apollonian and Dionysian forces, until its early "death" in the hands of Socrates. In opposition to Schopenhauer, Nietzsche viewed tragedy as the art form of sensual acceptance of the terrors of reality and rejoicing in these terrors in love of fate (amor fati), and therefore as the antithesis to the Socratic Method, or the belief in the power of reason to unveil any and all of the mysteries of existence. Ironically, Socrates was fond of quoting from tragedies. Friedrich Nietzsche, 1882 Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (October 15, 1844 - August 25, 1900) was a highly influential German philosopher. ... The Birth of Tragedy (Die Geburt der Tragödie aus dem Geiste der Musik, 1872) is a 19th Century work of philosophy by Friedrich Nietzsche. ... This page is about the Classical Greek philosopher. ... Amor fati is a Latin phrase, which loosely translates to Love of fate. It is used to describe the attitude that everything which occurs in ones life, including suffering and loss, is good. ... Socratic Method (or Method of Elenchus or Socratic Debate) is a dialectic method of inquiry, largely applied to the examination of key moral concepts and first described by Plato in the Socratic Dialogues. ...


The role of the Greek chorus was to act as a narrator, however still play a minor part in the acting of the play. So although the chorus may also play characters, its characters never influence the plot line, even though they may try. An interesting thing about the chorus is that they always look back on the plays events unlike the rest of the cast. Many modern tragedies also use this idea of a chorus and edit it to suit their own needs. For an example of this see: A View from the Bridge and the role of Alfieri. Another modern example is found in Friedrich Dürrenmatt's surrealist drama Der Besuch der Alten Dame (The Visit of the Old Woman) in the chorus characters of die Beiden Blinden (the two blind ones.) A View from the Bridge is a play by Arthur Miller originally produced as a one-act verse drama on Broadway in 1955. ...


Performance

Greek tragedies were performed in late March/early April at an annual state religious festival in honor of Dionysus. The presentation took the form of a contest between three playwrights, who presented their works on three successive days. Each playwright would prepare a trilogy of tragedies, plus an unrelated concluding comic piece called a satyr play. Often, the three plays featured linked stories, but later writers like Euripides may have presented three unrelated plays. Only one complete trilogy has survived, the Oresteia of Aeschylus. The Greek theatre was in the open air, on the side of a hill, and performances of a trilogy and satyr play probably lasted most of the day. Performances were apparently open to all citizens, including women, but evidence is scanty. The theatre of Dionysus at Athens probably held around 12,000 people (Ley 33-34).


The presentation of the plays probably resembled modern opera more than what we think of as a "play." All of the choral parts were sung (to flute accompaniment) and some of the actors' answers to the chorus were sung as well. The play as a whole was composed in various verse meters. All actors were male and wore masks, which may have had some amplifying capabilities. A Greek chorus danced as well as sang. (The Greek word choros means "a dance in a ring.") No one knows exactly what sorts of steps the chorus performed as it sang. But choral songs in tragedy are often divided into three sections: strophe ("turning, circling"), antistrophe ("counter-turning, counter-circling") and epode ("after-song"). So perhaps the chorus would dance one way around the orchestra ("dancing-floor") while singing the strophe, turn another way during the antistrophe, and then stand still during the epode.


Theories of tragedy

The philosopher Aristotle theorized in his work The Poetics that tragedy results in a catharsis (emotional cleansing) of healing for the audience through their experience of these emotions in response to the suffering of the characters in the drama. He considers it superior when a character passes from good fortune to bad rather than the reverse; at the time, the term "tragedy" was not yet fixed solely on stories with unhappy endings. For other uses, see Aristotle (disambiguation). ... Catharsis is the Greek Katharsis word meaning purification or cleansing derived from the ancient Greek gerund καθαίρειν transliterated as kathairein to purify, purge, and adjective katharos pure or clean (ancient and modern Greek: καθαρός). // The term in drama refers to a sudden emotional breakdown or climax that constitutes overwhelming feelings of great...


The Philosopher Aristotle in his work mentioned above (The Poetics) gave the following definition in ancient Greek to the word "tragedy" (τραγωδία): Note: This article contains special characters. ...


Ἐστὶν οὖν τραγωδία μίμησις πράξεως σπουδαίας καὶ τελείας, μέγεθος ἐχούσης, ἡδυσμένῳ λόγῳ, χωρὶς ἑκάστῳ τῶν εἰδὼν ἐν τοῖς μορίοις, δρώντων καὶ οὐ δι'ἀπαγγελίας, δι' ἐλέου καὶ φόβου περαίνουσα τὴν τῶν τοιούτων παθημάτων κάθαρσιν.


which means Tragedy is an imitation of an action that is admirable, complete (composed of an introduction, a middle part and an ending), and possesses magnitude; in language made pleasurable, each of its species separated in different parts; performed by actors, not through narration; effecting through pity and fear the purification of such emotions.


Common usage of tragedy refers to any story with a sad ending, whereas to be an Aristotelian tragedy the story fit the set of requirements as laid out by Poetics. By this definition social drama cannot be tragic because the hero in it is a victim of circumstance and incidents which depend upon the society in which he lives and not upon the ineludible inner compulsions — psychological or religious — which determine his progress towards self-knowledge and death.[9] Exactly what constitutes a "tragedy", however, is a frequently debated matter. This article needs cleanup. ... Look up Story in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Aristotles Poetics aims to give an account of poetry. ...


In ancient India, the writer Bharata Muni in his work on dramatic theory Natya Shastra recognized tragedy in the form of several rasas (emotional responses), such as pity, anger, disgust and terror. The History of India begins with the Indus Valley Civilization, which flourished in the north-western part of the Indian subcontinent from 3300 to 1700 BCE. This Bronze Age civilization was followed by the Iron Age Vedic period, which witnessed the rise of major kingdoms known as the Mahajanapadas. ... Bharata Muni was an ancient Indian writer whose life has been dated differently from the 5th century BCE to the 2nd century Ad. ... The Natya Shastra of Bharata( Nātyaśāstra ) (titled as Natyashastra) is the principal work of dramatic theory in the Sanskrit drama of classical India. ... Senses delight all and have delighted always, but Indian theorists were perhaps the earliest to perceive the delight of senses as the essence of being - a phenomenon of mind sublimating spiritually. ...


G.W.F. Hegel, the German philosopher famous for his dialectical approach to epistemology and history, also applied such a methodology to his theory of tragedy. In his essay "Hegel's Theory of Tragedy," A.C.Bradley first introduced the English-speaking world to Hegel's theory,which Bradley called the "tragic collision", and contrasted against the Aristotelian notions of the "tragic hero" and his or her "hamartia" in subsequent analyses of the Aeschylus' Oresteia trilogy and of Sophocles' Antigone. (Bradley, 114-156). Hegel himself, however, in his seminal "The Phenomenology of Spirit" argues for a more complicated theory of tragedy, with two complementary branches which, though driven by a single dialectical principle, differentiate Greek tragedy from that which follows Shakespeare. His later lectures formulate such a theory of tragedy as a conflict of ethical forces, represented by characters, in ancient Greek tragedy, but Shakespearean tragedy the conflict is rendered as one of subject and object, of individual personality which must manifest self-destructive passions because only such passions are strong enough to defend the individual from a hostile and capricious external world: Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (August 27, 1770 - November 14, 1831) was a German philosopher born in Stuttgart, Württemberg, in present-day southwest Germany. ... A tragic hero is a literary character who makes a judgment error that inevitably leads to his/her own destruction. ... Hegels work Phänomenologie des Geistes (1807) is called The Phenomenology of Spirit or The Phenomenology of Mind in English; the German word Geist has connotations of both spirit and mind in English. ...


"The heroes of ancient classical tragedy encounter situations in which, if they firmly decide in favor of the one ethical pathos that alone suits their finished character, they must necessarily come into conflict with the equally [gleichberechtigt] justified ethical power that confronts them. Modern characters, on the other hand , stand in a wealth of more accidental circumstances, within which one could act this way or that, so that the conflict which is, though occasioned by external preconditions, still essentially grounded in the character. The new individuals, in their passions, obey their own nature...simply because they are what they are. Greek heroes also act in accordance with individuality, but in ancient tragedy such individuality is necessarily... a self-contained ethical pathos...In modern tragedy, however, the character in its peculiarity decides in accordance with subjective desires...such that congruity of character with outward ethical aim no longer constitutes an essential basis of tragic beauty..." (Hegel, ed. Glockner, vol XIV pp567-8).


Hegel's comments on a particular play may better elucidate his theory: "Viewed externally, Hamlet's death may be seen to have been brought about accidentally ...but in Hamlet's soul, we understand that death has lurked from the beginning: the sandbank of finitude cannot suffice his sorrow and tenderness, such grief and nausea at all conditions of life...we feel he is a man whom inner disgust has almost consumed well before death comes upon him from outside."(Hegel, ed. Glockner,XIV,p572)


Renaissance and 17th century tragedy

The classical Greek and Roman tragedy was largely forgotten in Western Europe from the Middle Ages to the beginning of 16th century, and public theater in this period was dominated by mystery plays, morality plays, farces and miracle plays, etc. As early as 1503 however, original language versions of Sophocles, Seneca, Euripides, Aristophanes, Terence and Plautus were all available in Europe and the next forty years would see humanists and poets both translating these classics and adapting them. In the 1540s, the continental university setting (and especially – from 1553 on – the Jesuit colleges) became host to a Neo-Latin theater (in Latin) written by professors. The influence of Seneca was particularly strong in humanist tragedy. His plays – with their ghosts, lyrical passages and rhetorical oratory – brought to many humanist tragedies a concentration on rhetoric and language over dramatic action. Mystery plays are among the earliest formally developed plays in medieval Europe. ... Morality plays are a type of theatrical allegory in which the protagonist is met by personifications of various moral attributes who try to prompt him to choose a godly life over one of evil. ... Look up farce in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Mystery plays or miracle plays are one of the earliest formally developed plays in medieval Europe. ... This article is about the Greek tragedian. ... Bust, traditionally thought to be Seneca, now identified by some as Hesiod. ... A statue of Euripides. ... This article is about the 5-4th century BC dramatist. ... Publius Terentius Afer, better known as Terence, was a comic playwright of the Roman Republic. ... Titus Macchius Plautus, generally referred to simply as Plautus, was a playwright of Ancient Rome. ...


Along with their work as translators and adaptors of plays, the humanists also investigated classical theories of dramatic structure, plot, and characterization. Horace was translated in the 1540s, but had been available throughout the Middle Ages. A complete version of Aristotle's Poetics appeared later (first in 1570 in an Italian version), but his ideas had circulated (in an extremely truncated form) as early as the 13th century in Hermann the German's Latin translation of Averroes' Arabic gloss, and other translations of the Poetics had appeared in the first half of the 16th century; also of importance were the commentaries on Aristotle's poetics by Julius Caesar Scaliger which appeared in the 1560s. The 4th century grammarians Diomedes and Aelius Donatus were also a source of classical theory. The 16th century Italians played a central role in the publishing and interpretation of classical dramatic theory, and their works had a major effect on continental theater. Lodovico Castelvetro's Aristotle-based Art of PoetryŔ (1570) was one of the first enunciations of the "three unities". Italian theater (like the tragedy of Gian Giorgio Trissino) and debates on decorum (like those provoked by Sperone Speroni's play Canace and Giovanni Battista Giraldi's play Orbecche) would also influence the continental tradition. Horace, as imagined by Anton von Werner Quintus Horatius Flaccus, (December 8, 65 BC - November 27, 8 BC), known in the English-speaking world as Horace, was the leading Roman lyric poet during the time of Augustus. ... For other uses, see Aristotle (disambiguation). ... Ibn Rushd, known as Averroes (1126 – December 10, 1198), was an Andalusian-Arab philosopher and physician, a master of philosophy and Islamic law, mathematics, and medicine. ... Julius Caesar Scaliger. ... Aelius Donatus (fl. ... Lodovico Castelvetro (c. ... The three unities or classical unities are rules for drama derived from Aristotles Poetics. ... Gian Giorgio Trissino (Venezia, 1478 - Rome, 1550) was an Italian Renaissance humanist, poet, dramatist, diplomat and grammarian. ... Sperone Speroni degli Alvarotti (1500-1588) was an Italian Renaissance humanist, scholar, and dramatist. ... Giovanni Battista Giraldi (November, 1504 - December 30, 1573), surnamed Cynthitus, Cinthio or Cintio, was an Italian novelist and poet. ... Orbecche is a tragedy written by Giovanni Battista Giraldi in 1541. ...


Humanist writers recommended that tragedy should be in five acts and have three main characters of noble rank; the play should begin in the middle of the action (in medias res), use noble language and not show scenes of horror on the stage. Some writers attempted to link the medieval tradition of morality plays and farces to classical theater, but others rejected this claim and elevated classical tragedy and comedy to a higher dignity. Of greater difficulty for the theorists was the incorporation of Aristotle's notion of "catharsis" or the purgation of emotions with Renaissance theater, which remained profoundly attached to both pleasing the audience and to the rhetorical aim of showing moral examples (exemplum). In medias res, also medias in res (Latin for into the middle of things) is a literary and artistic technique where the narrative starts in the middle of the story instead of from its beginning (ab ovo or ab initio). ... Catharsis is the Greek Katharsis word meaning purification or cleansing derived from the ancient Greek gerund καθαίρειν transliterated as kathairein to purify, purge, and adjective katharos pure or clean (ancient and modern Greek: καθαρός). // The term in drama refers to a sudden emotional breakdown or climax that constitutes overwhelming feelings of great... An Exemplum (latin for example, pl. ...


The precepts of the "three unities" and theatrical decorum would eventually come to dominate French and Italian tragedy in the 17th century, while English Renaissance tragedy would follow a path far less behoving to classical theory and more open to dramatic action and the portrayal of tragic events on stage. The three unities or classical unities are rules for drama derived from Aristotles Poetics. ...


English Renaissance Tragedy

In the English language, the most famous and most successful tragedies are those of William Shakespeare and his Elizabethan contemporaries. Shakespeare's tragedies include: The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... Elizabethan redirects here. ...

A contemporary of Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe, also wrote examples of tragedy in English, notably: Anthony and Cleopatra, by Lawrence Alma-Tadema. ... Venturia at the Feet of Coriolanus by Gaspare Landi Photo courtesy of The VRoma Project. ... For other uses, see Hamlet (disambiguation). ... Julius Caesar is a tragedy by William Shakespeare. ... King Lear and the Fool in the Storm by William Dyce (1806-1864) King Lear is a play by William Shakespeare, considered one of his greatest tragedies, based on the legend of King Lear of Britain. ... This article is about Shakespeares play. ... For other uses, see Othello (disambiguation). ... Romeo and Juliet in the famous balcony scene by Ford Madox Brown For other uses, see Romeo and Juliet (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Timon (disambiguation). ... Title page of the first quarto edition (1594) The Tragedy of Titus Andronicus may be Shakespeares earliest tragedy. ... This article is about the English dramatist. ...

John Webster (1580?-1635?), also wrote famous plays of the genre: The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus is a play by Christopher Marlowe, based on the Faust story. ... An anonymous portrait, often believed to show Christopher Marlowe. ... John Webster (c. ... Events March 1 - Michel de Montaigne signs the preface to his most significant work, Essays. ... Events February 10 - The Académie française in Paris is expanded to become a national academy for the artistic elite. ...

The Duchess of Malfi is a macabre, tragic play, written by the English dramatist John Webster and first performed in 1614 at the Globe Theatre in London, and published for the first time in 1623. ... Title page of the 1612 edition of The White Devil The White Devil (1612) is a revenge tragedy by the English playwright John Webster (c. ...

French Tragedy in the 16th and 17th centuries

In France, the most important source for tragic theater was Seneca and the precepts of Horace and Aristotle (and modern commentaries by Julius Caesar Scaliger and Lodovico Castelvetro), although plots were taken from classical authors such as Plutarch, Suetonius, etc., from the Bible, from contemporary events and from short story collections (Italian, French and Spanish). The Greek tragic authors (Sophocles, Euripides) would become increasingly important as models by the middle of the 17th century. Important models for both comedy, tragedy and tragicomedy of the century were also supplied by the Spanish playwrights Pedro Calderón de la Barca, Tirso de Molina and Lope de Vega, many of whose works were translated and adapted for the French stage. Bust, traditionally thought to be Seneca, now identified by some as Hesiod. ... Horace, as imagined by Anton von Werner Quintus Horatius Flaccus, (December 8, 65 BC - November 27, 8 BC), known in the English-speaking world as Horace, was the leading Roman lyric poet during the time of Augustus. ... For other uses, see Aristotle (disambiguation). ... Julius Caesar Scaliger. ... Lodovico Castelvetro (c. ... Mestrius Plutarchus (Greek: Πλούταρχος; 46 - 127), better known in English as Plutarch, was a Greek historian, biographer, essayist, and Middle Platonist. ... The Twelve Caesars is a set of twelve biographies of Julius Caesar and the first 11 emperors of the Roman Empire. ... This article is about the Greek tragedian. ... A statue of Euripides. ... Pedro Calderón de la Barca. ... Tirso de Molina (October, 1571 - March 12, 1648) was a Spanish dramatist and poet. ... Lope de Vega Lope de Vega (also Félix Lope de Vega Carpio or Lope Félix de Vega Carpio) (25 November 1562 – 27 August 1635) was a Spanish playwright and poet. ...


After an initial period of emulation of highly rhetorical humanist tragedy in the late 16th century, the early years of the 17th century saw the creation of a baroque theater of action and tragedy (murders, rapes), before slowly adapting to the precepts of "Classicism" (the "three unities", decorum). French writers of tragedy from the late 16th century and early 17th century include: Robert Garnier, Antoine de Montchrestien, Alexandre Hardy, Théophile de Viau, François le Métel de Boisrobert, Jean Mairet, Tristan L'Hermite, Jean Rotrou. Robert Garnier (c. ... Antoine de Montchrestien (Falaise in Normandy c. ... Alexandre Hardy (1569?–1631) was a French dramatist, one of the most prolific of all time. ... Théophile de Viau (near Agen, 1590 - Paris, 25 September 1626) was a French baroque poet and dramatist. ... François le Métel de Boisrobert (1592 - March 30, 1662), was a French poet. ... Jean (de) Mairet (bap. ... Tristan lHermite was a French political and military figure of the late Middle Ages. ... Jean Rotrou (August 19 or 20, 1609 - June, 1650) was a French poet and tragedian. ...


For much of the 17th century, Pierre Corneille, who made his mark on the world of tragedy with plays like Medée (1635) and Le Cid (1636), was the most successful writer of French tragedies. Corneille's tragedies were strangely un-tragic (his first version of "Le Cid" was even listed as a tragicomedy), for they had happy endings. In his theoretical works on theater, Corneille redefined both comedy and tragedy around the following suppositions: Pierre Corneille (June 6, 1606–October 1, 1684) was a French tragedian tragedian who was one of the three great 17th Century French dramatists, along with Molière and Racine. ... Events February 10 - The Académie française in Paris is expanded to become a national academy for the artistic elite. ... Year 1636 (MDCXXXVI) was a leap year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a leap year starting on Friday of the 10-day slower Julian calendar). ...

  • The stage -- in both comedy and tragedy -- should feature noble characters (this would eliminate many low-characters, typical of the farce, from Corneille's comedies). Noble characters should not be depicted as vile (reprehensible actions are generally due to non-noble characters in Corneille's plays).
  • Tragedy deals with affairs of the state (wars, dynastic marriages); comedy deals with love. For a work to be tragic, it need not have a tragic ending.
  • Although Aristotle says that catharsis (purgation of emotion) should be the goal of tragedy, this is only an ideal. In conformity with the moral codes of the period, plays should not show evil being rewarded or nobility being degraded.

Corneille continued to write plays through 1674 (mainly tragedies, but also something he called "heroic comedies") and many continued to be successes, although the "irregularities" of his theatrical methods were increasingly criticized (notably by François Hédelin, abbé d'Aubignac) and the success of Jean Racine from the late 1660s signaled the end of his preeminence. For other uses, see Aristotle (disambiguation). ... Catharsis is the Greek Katharsis word meaning purification or cleansing derived from the ancient Greek gerund καθαίρειν transliterated as kathairein to purify, purge, and adjective katharos pure or clean (ancient and modern Greek: καθαρός). // The term in drama refers to a sudden emotional breakdown or climax that constitutes overwhelming feelings of great... François Hédelin, abbé dAubignac (August 4, 1604 - July 25, 1676), French author, was born at Paris. ...


Jean Racine's tragedies -- inspired by Greek myths, Euripides, Sophocles and Seneca -- condensed their plot into a tight set of passionate and duty-bound conflicts between a small group of noble characters, and concentrated on these characters' double-binds and the geometry of their unfulfilled desires and hatreds. Racine's poetic skill was in the representation of pathos and amorous passion (like Phèdre's love for her stepson) and his impact was such that emotional crisis would be the dominant mode of tragedy to the end of the century. Racine's two late plays ("Esther" and "Athalie") opened new doors to biblical subject matter and to the use of theater in the education of young women. Racine also faced criticism for his irregularities: when his play, Bérénice, was criticised for not containing any deaths, Racine disputed the conventional view of tragedy. Jean Racine. ... A statue of Euripides. ... This article is about the Greek tragedian. ... Bust, traditionally thought to be Seneca, now identified by some as Hesiod. ... Look up Pathos in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Phèdre (originally Phèdre et Hippolyte) is a dramatic tragedy in five acts written in alexandrine verse by Jean Racine. ... Bérénice is a tragedy by the French 17th-century playwright Jean Racine. ...


For more on French tragedy of the 16th and 17th centuries, see French Renaissance literature and French literature of the 17th century. French Renaissance literature is, for the purpose of this article, literature written in French (Middle French) from the French invasion of Italy in 1494 to 1600, or roughly the period from the reign of Charles VIII of France to the ascension of Henri IV of France to the throne. ... Louis XIV King of France and Navarre By Hyacinthe Rigaud (1701) French literature of the 17th century spans the reigns of Henry IV of France, the Regency of Marie de Medici, Louis XIII of France, the Regency of Anne of Austria (and the civil war called the Fronde) and the...


Modern development

In modernist literature, the definition of tragedy has become less precise. The most fundamental change has been the rejection of Aristotle's dictum that true tragedy can only depict those with power and high status. Arthur Miller's essay 'Tragedy and the Common Man' exemplifies the modern belief that tragedy may also depict ordinary people in domestic surroundings. British playwright Howard Barker has argued strenuously for the rebirth of tragedy in the contemporary theatre, most notably in his volume Arguments for a Theatre. "You emerge from tragedy equipped against lies. After the musical, you're anybody's fool," he observes.[10] For Christian theological modernism, see Liberal Christianity and Modernism (Roman Catholicism). ... Arthur Bob Miller (October 17, 1915 – February 10, 2005) was an American playwright and essayist. ... Howard Barker (born 1946) is a British playwright. ...


A Doll's House (1879) by the Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen, which depicts the breakdown of a middle-class marriage, is an example of a more contemporary tragedy. Like Ibsen's other dramatic works, it has been translated into English and has enjoyed great popularity on the English and American stage. Cover page to manuscript of A Dolls House, Henrik Ibsen, 1879 For other uses, see A Dolls House (disambiguation). ... Year 1879 (MDCCCLXXIX) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Monday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... A playwright, also known as a dramatist, is a person who writes dramatic literature or drama. ... Ibsen redirects here. ...


Although the most important American playwrights - Eugene O'Neill, Tennessee Williams and Arthur Miller - wrote tragedies, the rarity of tragedy in the American theater may be owing in part to a certain form of idealism, often associated with Americans, that man is captain of his fate, a notion exemplified in the plays of Clyde Fitch and George S. Kaufmann. Arthur Miller, however, was a successful writer of American tragic plays, among them The Crucible, All My Sons and Death of a Salesman. Eugene Gladstone ONeill (October 16, 1888 – November 27, 1953) was a Nobel- and four-time Pulitzer Prize-winning American playwright. ... Thomas Lanier Williams III (March 26, 1911 – February 25, 1983), better known by the pseudonym Tennessee Williams, was a major American playwright and one of the prominent playwrights of the twentieth century. ... Clyde Fitch (May 2, 1865 - September 4, 1909) American dramatist. ... George Simon Kaufman (November 16, 1889 - June 2, 1961) was a playwright, director, producer, and drama critic most noted for his many collaborations with other writers. ... For other uses, see Crucible (disambiguation). ... All My Sons is the name of a 1947 play by Arthur Miller. ... Cover to the Penguin Group edition. ...


Contemporary postmodern theater moves the ground for the execution of tragedy from the hamartia (the tragic mistake or error) of the individual tragic hero to the tragic hero's inability to have agency over his own life, without even the free will to make mistakes. The fate decreed from the gods of classical Greek tragedy is replaced by the will of institutions that shape the fate of the individual through policies and practices. Postmodern theatre is a recent phenomenon in world theatre, coming as it does out of the postmodern philosophy that originated in Europe in the 1960s. ... Hamartia (Ancient Greek: ) is a word most famously used in Aristotles Poetics, where it is usually translated as a mistake or error in judgment. ... A tragic hero is a literary character who makes a judgment error that inevitably leads to his/her own destruction. ...


Tragedy often shows the lack of escape of the protagonist, whereby he or she cannot remove themself from the present environment.


Tragedy in film

Hollywood films generally do not feature plots that follow Aristotle's definition of tragedy. In contemporary usage, Hollywood generally labels tragedies as the opposite of comedy, that is movies that are more serious than they are funny. ... For other uses, see Aristotle (disambiguation). ...


Notes

  1. ^ Aristotle. Poetics, Trans. W.H. Fyfe. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1932. Section 1452b
  2. ^ Rorty, Amelie Oksenberg. Essays on Aristotle’s Poetics. Princeton: Princeton UP, 1992. Page 178
  3. ^ Poetics, Aristotle
  4. ^ Aristotle, Poetics. Section 1135b
  5. ^ P.W. Buckham, Theatre of the Greeks, p. 108
  6. ^ P.W. Buckham, ibid, p. 121, quoting from Lectures on Dramatic Art and Literature by August Wilhelm von Schlegel[1]
  7. ^ Aristotle, Poetics, IV, 1449a, "To consider whether tragedy is fully developed by now in all its various species or not, and to criticize it both in itself and in relation to the stage, that is another question. At any rate it originated in improvisation--both tragedy itself and comedy. The one tragedy came from the prelude to the dithyramb and the other comedy from the prelude to the phallic songs which still survive as institutions in many cities. Tragedy then gradually evolved as men developed each element that came to light and after going through many changes, it stopped when it had found its own natural form."[2]
  8. ^ a b P.W. Buckham, ibid, p. 243
  9. ^ Chiari, J. Landmarks of Contemporary Drama. London: Jenkins, 1965. Page 41.
  10. ^ Howard Barker. Arguments for a Theatre.(London: John Calder, 1989), 13.

Aristotles Poetics aims to give an account of poetry. ... Fyfe is a surname, and may refer to: David Maxwell Fyfe, 1st Earl of Kilmuir Iain Fyfe James Fyfe Maria Fyfe Robert Fyfe Tom Fyfe William Fyfe William Patrick Fyfe Fyffe Fife Categories: | ... This article is about the city in England. ... The Harvard University Press is a publishing house, a division of Harvard University, that is highly respected in academic publishing. ... Literary criticism is the study, discussion, evaluation, and interpretation of literature. ... The Princeton University Press is an independent publisher with close connections to Princeton University. ... August Wilhelm von Schlegel (September 8, 1767 - May 12, 1845), German poet, translator and critic, was born at Hanover, where his father, Johann Adolf Schlegel (1721-1793), was a Lutheran pastor. ... A comedy is a dramatic performance of a light and amusing character, usually with a happy conclusion to its plot. ... Chiari is a commune in the province of Brescia, in Lombardy. ... For other uses, see J (disambiguation). ... For the group sometimes known as Landmark, see Landmark Education Originally, a landmark literally meant a geographic feature, used by explorers and others to find their way back through an area on a return trip. ... Look up contemporary in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... For other uses, see Drama (disambiguation). ... This article is about the capital of England and the United Kingdom. ... Jenkins is a surname that originated in England, but came to be popular in southern Wales. ...

References

  • Aristotle, Poetics.
  • P.W. Buckham, Theatre of the Greeks, 1827.
  • Justina Gregory (ed.), A Companion to Greek Tragedy, 2005.
  • August Wilhelm von Schlegel, Lectures on Dramatic Art and Literature, 1809. [3]
  • Xavier Riu, Dionysism and Comedy, 1999. [4]
  • J.A. Symonds, Studies of the Greek Poets, 1873.
  • Bradley, A.C., "Oxford Lectures on Poetry." London, Macmillan, 1909, 2d ed., 1960.
  • Hegel, G.W.F., ed. Hermann Glockner. "Vorlesungen uber die Asthetik." "Samlichte Werke," Vol 14. Stuttgart, Fromann, 1927.

August Wilhelm von Schlegel (September 8, 1767 - May 12, 1845), German poet, translator and critic, was born at Hanover, where his father, Johann Adolf Schlegel (1721-1793), was a Lutheran pastor. ...

See also


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