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Do Tragedy Appeals ?

Do Tragedy Appeals ?

Tragedy is what evokes a sinking sorrowful feeling in the heart. Most of the times it comes along with a helpless situation. Usually, tragic characters of novels, movies or dramas, gather more sympathies than the gleeful happy characters. A crying mother, jobless son, cruel husband, clever mother-in-law, strict boss, handicapped hero or poor heroine ( but well-dressed ) . . . all these are certified basic formula components of a successful novel or some show on the big or small screen.

A common thing to notice that heart-broken and dejected characters take a soft corner in the heart of reader/audience whereas gleeful, happy and jolly couples are taken as ignorant. Romeo and Juliet, Othello, Oedipus Rex are famous western tragedies which have been repeated, had making and remaking in all the mediums un-numerable times. Same is here, Shakuntla, Anaarkali, HeerWaris, SohniMahiwal have uncountable presentations.

Talking about tragedies, Greeks were best known for tragic theaters since ancients times. For them, there was some solid impulsive working behind the presentation and popularity of tragedy. People used to watch same plays, for many and many times, at various theaters, performed by different actors every time , wept and sighed during the drama but the acceptance and rating remained constant. So, what was the vital element keeping these dramas quite favorite?

In Aristotle’s definition, a good tragedy must be an imitation/ copy of real life situation, narrow in focus and must evoke pity and fear in its audience, causing the readers/viewers to experience a feeling of “catharsis.” In Greek, catharsis means purgation or purification; running through the lowest tone of pity and sorrow that will leave the person feeling elated. Aristotle (Arastoo) was the first to use this term catharsis, to describe emotional purification. He takes it as cleansing of human soul from excessive and illusional emotions. Act of tragedy works here to bring a sudden climax that evokes great feeling of sorrow, pity, mourning, resulting in restoration, renewal and revitalization in audience.

An other side step comes forth, with the idea that catharsis is an experience that shapes fear and pity with in the margin of balanced amount. People, in their real life, may become much or less addicted and familiar with pity, fear, torment and injustice that they may loose courage to behave normally and accordingly. This suppression, modification and delusion of emotions leads to an emotional and psychological numbness. Through watching/ reading a tragedy, the audience learn how to feel and react about these emotions at a proper level, and here tragedy works as a corrective.

Keeping in mind that the whole objective should remain in the positive aspect. Otherwise tragedy may lead many of people to negativity and depression. For a near concept, its like, to cure and heal a tired stiffed body, one gets up from its cozy place and goes for a brisk walk or jogging. On returning, after a gentle blood circulation and warmed-up sweating body, he feels light, vital and fresh.

3 thoughts on “Do Tragedy Appeals ?

  1. Life is very complicated and things are always what they seem to be. Shakespeare wrote “to those who think; life is a comedy- to those who feel; life is a tragedy. Most of us think and feel. Very well done.


  2. Heavy diet, not digestible.
    What I have learned from my life long experience of a bit over 60 years right from childhood, is that real life is very difficult to portray in drama, may it be novel or stage play or movie. In real life people with big difficulties and even accidents, barring a few, do live a life. People who may apparently appear to be very happy from inside may be totally burnt out. A man who toils for whole day to earn two simple meals and sleeps on a footpath may be happier than a person who owns millions and lives in a comfortable house.


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