Here's what I think: a tragedy is a sad story, but it's more than that. A tragedy is a life-changing, world-altering, horrible event. A tragedy is something that affects more than one person. It is often large-scale with reverberating effects. A tragedy is sad, powerful, emotional, and thought-provoking. Not all sad stories are tragedies. Not all tragedies are sad stories. I think it's hard to define what makes a tragedy. It's hard to define what a tragedy really is, especially in literature where fine lines are everywhere. I know what a tragedy is, but I don't know exactly what makes some literary works tragedies and others not. I believe tragedy is written to evoke emotions and give people something to relate to. Maybe it is just written because it is true and people write what they know. I guess that's what the rest of this unit will be about finding out.
Now, according to Wikipedia, tragedy is a type of drama that displays suffering. However, an important distinction to make is that not all tales of human hardships are tragedy. Tragedies specifically evoke a sense of pleasure or emotional cleansing called catharsis. This seems to be what defines a tragedy and what separates tragedies from other sad stories.
Tragedies, as most people well know, have been around since the time of ancient Greece. Indeed, tragedy was a well-known Greek tradition. It turns out that people have been defining and distinguishing what tragedy is since ancient Greek times as well. Aristotle wrote extensively on what tragedy is. According to him, tragedies always involve a change in fortune, and this is more effective when it is a negative turn. The events of a tragedy should also be driven by some fault or flaw of the characters. Over time, of course, tragedies have changed and developed, as has their definition. What makes a tragedy a tragedy is a debated subject. No one really has a solid answer, it's all a matter of perspective and ideas.
We think of tragedies as horrific events or sob stories, but, really, a tragedy is more than that. A tragedy is a sad tale, yes, that can be in the form of a story, a book, a poem, a play, a musical, or whatever else that makes the audience feel connected and satisfied in a way. Tragedies are long-standing traditions that have changed greatly and yet remained the same through the years.