Theory of tragedy Classical theories As the great period of Athenian drama drew to an end at the beginning of the 4th century bce, Athenian philosophers began to analyze its content and formulate its structure. In the thought of Plato c. He feared, too, the emotive effect of poetry, the Dionysian element that is at the very basis of tragedy. Therefore, he recommended that the tragedians submit their works to the rulers, for approval, without which they could not be performed.
Development Origins in Greece The questions of how and why tragedy came into being and of the bearing of its origins on its development in subsequent ages and cultures have been investigated by historians, philologists, archaeologists, and anthropologists with results that are suggestive but conjectural.
Even the etymology of the word tragedy is far from established. The word could have referred either to the prize, a goatthat was awarded to the dramatists whose plays won the earliest competitions or to the dress goat skins of the performers, or to the goat that was sacrificed in the rituals from which tragedy developed.
In these communal celebrations, a choric dance may have been the first formal element and perhaps for centuries was the principal element.
A speaker was later introduced into the ritualin all likelihood as an extension of the role of the priest, and dialogue was established between him and the dancers, who became the chorus in the Athenian drama.
Aeschylus is usually regarded as the one who, realizing the dramatic possibilities of the dialoguefirst added a second speaker and thus invented the form of tragedy. That so sophisticated a form could have been fully developed by a single artist, however, is scarcely credible.
Hundreds of early tragedies have been lost, including some by Aeschylus himself. Of some 90 plays attributed to him, only seven have survived.
Since Dionysus once held place as the god of vegetation and the vine, and the goat was believed sacred to him, it has been conjectured that tragedy originated in fertility feasts to commemorate the harvest and the vintage and the associated ideas of the death and renewal of life.
The purpose of such rituals is to exercise some influence over these vital forces. Whatever the original religious connections of tragedy may have been, two elements have never entirely been lost: When either of these elements diminishes, when the form is overmixed with satiric, comic, or sentimental elements, or when the theatre of concern succumbs to the theatre of entertainment, then tragedy falls from its high estate and is on its way to becoming something else.
As the Greeks developed it, the tragic form, more than any other, raised questions about human existence. Why must humans suffer?
Why must humans be forever torn between the seeming irreconcilable forces of good and evil, freedom and necessity, truth and deceit? Are the causes of suffering outside of oneself, in blind chance, in the evil designs of others, in the malice of the gods?
Are its causes internal, and does one bring suffering upon oneself through arroganceinfatuation, or the tendency to overreach? Why is justice so elusive? Page 1 of Definition of tragedy in English: tragedy. noun. 1 An event causing great suffering, destruction, and distress, such as a serious accident, crime, or natural catastrophe.
‘a tragedy that killed 95 people’. Several of Aristotle's main points are of great value for an understanding of Greek tragic drama.
Particularly significant is his statement that the plot is the most important element of tragedy: Tragedy is an imitation, not of men, but of action and life, of happiness and misery. The Washington State Department of Game estimated that nearly 7, deer, elk, and bear perished in the area most affected by the eruption, as well as many birds and most small mammals.
Millions. noun, plural trag·e·dies. a lamentable, dreadful, or fatal event or affair; calamity; disaster: stunned by the tragedy of so many deaths.
a dramatic composition, often in verse, dealing with a serious or somber theme, typically involving a great person destined to experience downfall or utter destruction, as through a character flaw or conflict with some . [C] It’s a tragedy (that) so many children are unable to get a decent education.
› literature In the theater, a tragedy is a serious play that ends with the . Definitions synonyms, Definitions pronunciation, Definitions translation, English dictionary definition of Definitions. n. 1. a. A statement of the meaning of a word, phrase, or term, as in a dictionary entry.
to fix or state the exact meaning of. according to our definition, Tragedy is an imitation of an action that is complete, and.