Dramatic Tragedy

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When the words "dramatic tragedy" are spoken or read it leads one's mine to think of classic works, such as Shakespeare's Hamlet and Sophocles' Oedipus Rex. We tend not to associate dramatic tragedy with modern day film and theater. We think of dramatic tragedy as it was originally produced in the days of Ancient Greece, when the stage was outdoors, only a few actors took part, and the tragedies that where enacted where those of the death of the main character. Tragedy can be defined as a plot in which the main character, because of his or her own flaw dies. Tragedy, as in the days of the Ancient Greeks, may not exist at the same degree in modern film and theater but it does exist.

To determine what constitutes a tragedy we must first look at the society that will be judging and deciding. In Ancient Greece, death of the rich was a tragedy, and what made it go over so well on stage was the fact that the audience could relate to death and to the main character in the play. In modern film not much has changed, death is still considered a tragedy and the audience must be able to identify with the main character. The main difference in modern day film is how that death occurs.

In Ancient Greece the deaths that occurred where what was considered normal for that era; someone drank poison, was bitten by poisonous creatures, fed to animals or died in battle. The deaths that occur in modern film are of completely different methods of dying but they are still deaths. Modern film has based its scenario's on what people of this era can relate to. It is uncommon for a person to die from poisoning now with modern technology, and society has moved on from the days of feeding humans to animals. What we consider common for our era, are things the Greeks could have never thought of happening.

In Ancient Greece guns, bombs, planes, or other weapons of mass destruction did not exists; therefore there tragedy was based upon what they knew, as is tragedy in modern day film....
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