Comedy and Tragedy Essay
When discussing a drama, an individual’s first thought is of whether or not the drama is a comedy or a tragedy. These are the two basic forms of categorizing drama, and it divides it in immense forms. Although you cannot classify all of drama under two categories without being explicitly broad, it is possible to break drama down into one of the forms. These two all-inclusive dramatic modes are the most common when asked to classify. There are many factors in which comedy and tragedy become easily to distinct, but there are also many differences as well.
Comedy generally depicts human weaknesses in a comical way. It mocks the faults that humans experience on a day to day basis. Since nobody is perfect, in one way or another, we can all relate. This generally brings an atmosphere of joy and laughter to a person interpreting the comedy. Comedy exhibits the absurdity in things such as hypocrisy and vanity in people and often misconceptions in life. Antidotes for human weaknesses are what make us smile and laugh.
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Although comedy may elaborate on human weaknesses, it is also the mode that is more social. Generally in comedies, the protagonist is often not singled out. The protagonist is usually emphasized within a group of people, therefor showing their commonness. Rather than having the protagonist singled out, he typically is segregated into one group of people or the other. Typically, when comedies are classified they are classified by how the protagonist can conform to one society and it’s expectations.
While comedy may exhibit absurdities, tragedy paints an image of human greatness. It usually includes somebody of a noble stature, who fails because of a tragic flaw or downfall. The downfall is never pure loss, although sometimes it results in death. There is always a moral or a lesson to be learned from a tragedy. Tragedy’s basis is on seriousness, using fear and pity to intrigue the audience.
The most common thing a tragedy tends to do is isolate the protagonist. The protagonist is isolated because it tends to emphasize their qualities in a more prolific manner. It lets the audience have strong emotions for one particular character rather than a whole group. They generally possess more of the hero characteristic and their individuality.
The way the protagonist deals with his own morals and standards often makes classification easier.
Although different, comedy and tragedy also have a multitude of similarities. In both forms of drama, the characters often face the same types of difficulties. These difficulties typically include problems with one’s self, problems with other individuals, and problems that are socially complex. A person’s comical view of something is usually somebody else’s view of tragedy. This indirectly connects the two types of drama.
These types of drama also can be viewed in the forms of specific situations, everyday life, or the world in whole. They both possess human emotions, and more directly, agony. Comedy uses agony as mockery while tragedy uses it to express the protagonist’s downfall. Comedy and tragedy are both aspects of similar situations; they are simply expressed in different forms. Because both forms of drama appeal to how we feel, think, and act, they are both related to ethical and moral issues.
Tragedy and Comedy are two completing views or ways of seeing. They have many direct and indirect qualities. In all, a comedy and a tragedy can be deciphered, after thoroughly interpreting the literature. These two basic classifications of drama have been around since they were first introduced in Ancient Greece hundreds of years ago. They will continue to remain intact as long as drama is still written or performed. The fact that comedies and tragedies appeal to two different types of audiences make the similarities and differences between the two more the enjoyable.
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Tragedy and Comedy Essay
1248 Words5 Pages
Theater is a natural outlet for our desire to hear and tell stories, and in some ways it is even more primal and powerful than the written word. At its worst, theater will merely bore; while at its best it will not only entertain but move and shape its audience. Two such genres of theater, or drama, have consistently achieved this effect. Tragedy, represented by the weeping actors’ mask, usually features the title character’s fall from greatness to ruin, guided by the gods or fate. Oedipus Rex, written by Sophocles, is the epitome of classic Tragedy, as defined by Aristotle (96-101). Here, Oedipus falls from kingship to blindness and exile. Drama’s other great genre, Comedy, is represented by the laughing actors’ mask. In Comedy the…show more content…
At their core, Comedy and Tragedy are two sides of the same coin. Without characters, there would not be a story. Whether that character is a human being or an idea, we need something or someone that can be the reflection of something real onstage. In Oedipus Rex the main character is a young king. On the surface, one might not relate to a rich, powerful king destined to ruin by mythical gods. The Greeks, however, believed that “tragedy could only befall the great.” (Jacobus 34) Oedipus’ character resonated because he was above them. If it were a plebeian who killed his father and married his mother, it would be our equivalent of an inbred trailer-park tabloid story. His nobility is what keeps the dramatic from becoming the melodramatic. So for the Greeks, Oedipus’ story became a classic because he achieved that perfect balance of nobility and relatability. They experienced fear when Oedipus, a man in a position just under the gods, fell and failed. But both modern man and the ancient Greek can experience pity because we can see part of ourselves in Oedipus. When Oedipus is helpless to escape his fate, part of us shares his frustration. His humanity is timeless. While a Comedy’s main character does not require us to feel pity or fear, we still must relate, albeit in different ways. In Lysistrata, the main character is a confident and quick-witted and although she is subject to sexist