Modern Tragedy Analysis

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Tragedy is a word that is in common usage in everyday life. The word may be used in casual conversation, or the media to describe everything from a fashion crisis to the death of a child, from the suffering of a natural or man made disaster to the breakup of a hollywood it-couple. Although the use of the word as an exaggeration or as a light hearted term may not have much to do with it has concepts of literature, descriptions of real life suffering as a tragedy reflect our need to make sense of the unimaginable, unspeakable, inexplicable and unfair. These aspects are the legs of tragic drama. A critic, Raymond Williams, wrote that if we restrict the term tragedy only to literature is to deny the understanding of real events in which tragic drama can confer on. In every part of history, not only has tragedy helped us understand the our real lives through a fictional representation but also a way to dignify and make sense of suffering. Because of this reason, this particular genre may not be suitable for Christians…show more content…
The critic Pauline Kael in reviewing Arthur Miller’s “A View from the Bridge”, gives an excellent definition of modern tragedy when she notes that a tragic hero “must have greater aspirations, ambitions, the protagonist simply wants the wife’s niece” thus tragedy is redefined: modern tragedy have smaller men with smaller dreams and acts through impulse rather than hubris. The modern tragedies also incorporate comedy and irony. A contemporary example would be David Mamet’s “Glengarry Glen Ross” in which tragically small-minded salesmen fight over crooked sales jobs. Modern tragedy therefore adds irony into Aristotle’s ideas of tragedy, reducing once-heroic tragic figures to ordinary
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