Tragedy is a play dealing with sad events, having an unhappy ending specially dealing with thetragic flaw of a hero of great importance. It is based on the sufferings of human beings resulting in theemotions of pity and fear. It also depicts a serious subject matter of suffering and leading towards greatdisasters. Tragedy often ends with the death of the hero or high stature character or natural catastrophe.There are many types of tragedies but I will mainly focus on five main types.1- Revenge tragedy2- Social tragedy3- Tragicomedy4- Heroic tragedy5- Domestic tragedyRevenge Tragedy:It is a types of tragedy mainly focused on the theme of revenge for an imaginary or a real cause.
It was famous in Jacobean era as well as Elizabethan era. Its great example is Hamlet by Shakespeare.There are two important playwrights of revenge tragedy.Lucius Seneca was a famous playwright of revenge tragedy of the 1 st century. He has written many playswith this theme as Hercules Furens, Troades, Medea, Agamemnon and Octavia. Seneca’s Thystes is atale of revenge and horror with cannibalism, and is identified the most famous revenge tragedy of its time.In the struggle of power between two brothers Arteus and Thystes there is a clear theme of revenge.
William Shakespeare was a playwright and English poet in the 16 th century. His plays like Hamlet andTitus Andronicus depicts the theme of revenge and anger. His elements of revenge comedy were similarto Seneca’s tragedies.Titus Andronicus is about the madness of the Titus who wanted to take revenge on the sons of Tamorafor their wrong doings with Lavinia.
This race of revenge makes him kill everybody on the way to satisfyhis anger. The main theme of the play was the revenge between Tamora and her sons but there were manypeople whom he seeks avenge. This is a prominent theme of revenge tragedy.Hamlet is a well written tragedy by Shakespeare based on the tragic conflict of Hamlet and Claudius andthe conflict is based on revenge.
In this tragedy two of the fathers were brutally killed, the first one is kinghamlet who was supposed to avenged by the prince hamlet. The other murder was of Polonius whoserevenge was to taken by his son Laertes. They both went to take revenge of their fathers and useddifferent methods to achieve their goals. So we can say that Hamlet is an important revenge tragedy.
Social Tragedy:It is a type of modern tragedy in which the conflict between the society and protagonist. Hebecomes the victim of society and its ill treatments. This tragedy is extreme social in its structure as itsgiving deep analysis of society and its behavior with the individuals.Arthur Miller is a great writer of social issues. Death of Salesman is a social tragedy depicting thefamily issues with protagonist and society. He is misfit in the society because the society is being unjustwith him and causing him tragic end.Willy Lo man was working in a company for many years and gave his all struggles to introduce thecompany to many other cities. He often says to his colleagues that he is a vital person for this company.
Willy lo man has big dreams as having a big house and a car to travel but his dreams were notaccomplished with his little pay. He is misfit in the capitalistic society where instead of being ideal heneeds to be practical and hardworking. In the age of sixty-three he still works and gets very low pay thathe was unable to pay his instalments and has to borrow money from his neighbors.His failure on being successful and his sons on being settle in the society made me irritated andfrustrating.
Willy lo man thinks himself as a vital person for the firm but he was not aware the fact that aman is only needed till when he makes profit for the company. When he is incapable of earning the profithe is no longer desired.To Conclude it can be said that “Death of salesman” is a social tragedy in which there is conflict betweenthe society and its individuals.A Doll’s House is a social tragedy by Henrik Ibsen. He converted drama from entertainment to socialproblems.
He broke the romantic tradition to realism and real portrayals of individuals and focused onpsychological traumas. He points out the weak position of the women in the society. In Dolls house Norawas accused of borrowing money from his husband’s friend with his consent. Nora was unable to pretendthat everything is well in her house. She was disturbed by the fact that she was kept by her husband as adoll in the house without any rights or sentiments. She left her husband to divorce him in the era wheredivorce was stigmatized. Nora’s decision was taken as a taboo of divorcing a husband but later on thisapproach changed.
So it is evident that A doll’s house is a social tragedy touching social issues to itsdepth and trying to observe the evils of the society.Tragicomedy:Tragicomedy is a literary device used in works of literature, it contains both comedy and tragedyelements. Most often the characters in these plays are exaggerated and there sometimes comes the happyending after many serious events.Merchant of Venice by Shakespeare is a tragicomedy, though it has comic elements but yet a lot tragiccharacters are there as well as tragic incidents. One of the tragic incident is Antonio’s loss of life.
Theplay ends with a happy union of characters and Antonio is also saved from tragic end. Due to the comic aswell tragic incidents of the play it is considered as tragicomedy.Waiting for Godot by Samuel Becket is also considered as a tragicomedy because of its atmospherewhich is dark and gloomy. The characters were all suffering from the tragedy that they have nothing to dowith their lives. They want someone to come into their lives to make it better. The disappointment ofnobody to come makes them tragic and upset. To pass their time they indulge themselves into aimlessactivities. This absurdity of life of the characters make it tragicomedy.
Domestic Tragedy:This tragedy is of the domestic life of married people. The problems and issues dealt in this typeare related to day to day life. It belongs to the tragedy type in which there are common man presented ashero instead of the Aristotle’s hero of great stature. This tragedy presents common man as tragic herosuffering violence at domestic level. It has many examples like Othello by Shakespeare is considered as adomestic tragedy due to its settings and atmosphere. The theme of jealousy is also depicted as domestictragedy of Othello’s life. Othello himself was not jealous person but he was made by Iago.
Othello wasnot given any post on favor he got everything on his abilities. He by telling his travel tales wins the heartof Desdemona. The end of the play is tragic as Othello kills his wife in domestic aggression and by thetricks of Iago his subordinate.Heroic Tragedy:Heroic tragedy is mostly depicted as having bombastic language as well as rich scenery to depictgreat heroic qualities.
It often chooses between the love and patriotic duties. The Conquest of Granadaby John Dryden was considered as a heroic tragedy in its era. It depicts heroic tragedy as a new dimensionthat appreciated heroic figures and actions in meters and rhymes that pay more attention to the dignity oftheir actions. Dryden tried to match the meter and rhymes of the ancient Latin heroic verses.
The tragedyconcerned with the Battle of Granada fought among Moors and Spanish heroes which results in heroic fallof Granada. So the setting, background, embellishment of language all comes under the heroic tragedyand is a great genre of restoration period.To conclude we can say that there are various types of tragedies and the above mentioned aremore famous and important in English literature. By going through these types of tragedy one can get theclear idea of tragedy and its types.