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Tragedy – Literary Terms

Tragedy – Literary Terms

Tragedy is a form of drama which stages the fall of a superior human being from the zenith of his success to the nadir of his misery for some inherent defect in his character. The term tragedy comes from the Greek word tragedian which means goat-song. Tragedy is thought by many scholars to have originally referred to an ancient Greek ritual accompanied by a choral hymn in which a goat was sacrificed to Dionysus, the god of wine and fertility.

Aristotle in his Poetics defined tragedy as an imitation of an action that is serious, complete in itself and of a certain magnitude. This Registration lording to him roused pity and fear in the spectators and then purged them of these emotions. The tragic hero has some error or frailty in judgment, as a result of which he moves from happiness to misery and ultimately dies, but he is neither villainous nor exceptionally virtuous. There are several kinds of tragedy; heroic tragedy, Seneca tragedy, revenge tragedy etc. Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Macbeth, King Lear, and Othello are the examples of tragedy.

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