Wow ok, we read an essay called "Tragedy and the Common Man" like last week, but none of us knew there was supposed to be a blog on it until a week later, so I'm writing this now. Hooray.
This was an essay about how we tend to think of tragedy as a thing that only applies to kings or heroes and not us. However, the author argues, this is totally wrong. Tragedy applies to everyone. Tragedy is universally relatable; it must be otherwise it would not be so popular and widespread. This doesn't seem very profound or important. I think anyone could've told you that tragedies happen everywhere, to anyone. It's the rest of the author's argument, however, that was interesting and unique. The author defines tragedy as what happens when a person tries to claim or take back their place in society. To the author, tragedy isn't bad luck or sad events; instead, it is the result of bravery and questioning authority. Tragedy occurs when somebody-- anybody-- has the guts to take a stand and question what everyone else has just blindly accepted. In this view, tragedy is hardly a bad thing at all. Also in this view, tragedy is something that is applicable to every person as every single person is capable of calling something into question and seeking better for themselves.
I thought this was a really new and unique view on tragedy. Clearly, I had never thought of tragedy in this way or any similar way before. I would never have thought of tragedy as being driven by bravery and questioning, but, now that I have been exposed to this view, it kind of makes a lot of sense. I can't see how this relates to all tragedies, but, then again, nothing is universally flawless and I am no tragedy expert.
For me, the idea that tragedy was applicable to the common man was a no-brainer. That seemed really obvious. The author's explanation of what tragedy is, though, was very different and interesting.
So, I leave you with this quote from the essay which I think really sums up the whole argument: " The thrust for freedom is the quality in tragedy which exalts. The revolutionary questioning of the stable environment is what terrifies. In no way is the common man debarred from such thoughts or such actions."