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AmWiser's avatar

What do you consider a tragedy?

Asked by AmWiser (14905 points ) April 8th, 2011

In your opinion what makes for a tragedy?
Is the only thing that makes something a tragedy the spotlight?

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17 Answers

math_nerd's avatar

Pretty much all of 2000 to 2008 was a tragedy.

Bellatrix's avatar

Huge queston @AmWiser. I will probably think about this and come up with a better answer later but… I think a tragedy is when something happens that could have been prevented if someone had acted. And this can be on a local or a global level. It doesn’t really matter whether it gets the spotlight, if a catastrophe (minor or major) occurs and just with some action it could have been prevented (or minimised) that is a tragedy. On a global level think Rwanda. On a local level think people ignoring a child or older person in crisis because they didn’t want to get involved.

filmfann's avatar

I think a tragedy is when everything seems perfect, and seems to be going ideally, when some failing or evil destroys it.

Nixon and Watergate is such a tragedy it should be an opera.
Here was a guy who had it all, and his own paranoia destroyed him.

The assassination of JFK is another tragedy, one from which the nation has never recovered.
Idealistic young American Prince destroyed by the dark forces of the CIA, FBI, et al.

KateTheGreat's avatar

A tragedy to me is when something horrid happens and a mass of people are affected by it in a not-so-good way.

josie's avatar

A tragedy is an event that effects people negatively, but that occurs totally outside of the realm of human choice or control.
When a child dies of leukemia, it is a tragedy.
When people fly airplanes into buildings and kill thousands, it is murder, not a tragedy.

Bellatrix's avatar

I hate when I miss the 10 minute edit window and then find a typo. Message to Lizzy .. read your posts again before moving on! I meant .. “huge QUESTION”.

everephebe's avatar

Pain, suffering, and death are the trifecta of tragedy. For me, tragedy means death of some sort. On a grand or individual scale.

“The last thing to determine conclusively is whether you are in a comedy or a tragedy. To quote Italo Calvino, ‘the ultimate meaning to which all stories refer has two faces: The continuity of life, the inevitability of death.’ Tragedy, you die. Comedy, you get hitched.”Professor Hilbert, Stranger than Fiction.

CaptainHarley's avatar

Guy makes it through three tours in Afghanistan. When he comes home, he gets into a bar fight and dies of a brain anuryism. That’s tragedy.

In the classics, they defined “tragedy” as a fall from a high to a low estate.

Porifera's avatar

A tragedy is when something bad happens in a broad or individual scale that affects life as we know it. This event causes tears and deep pain and a sense of profound sadness. Things are never the same after such tragedy. Be it an illness, a natural disaster, the death of a loved one, a crippling accident, etc. Something way beyond our control that changes the person or people involved life course.

Winters's avatar

tragedy is when I cut my finger, comedy is when you fall into a manhole and die

MilkyWay's avatar

@CaptainHarley <— What the capt’n said. That happened to a soldier here in my small city, and it is what I would call tragic.

CaptainHarley's avatar

“Each man’s death diminishes my life. Send not to know for whom the bell tolls. It tolls for thee.”

Pandora's avatar

Well I would say that it is a tragedy that, man as clever as we are, has not gone forward. Animals in the wild kill for survival and to protect its family or group when attacked or to eat.
Although we still do kill for the reasons that basic wild animals kill.
We kill for religion.
We kill for land we can never own or take to the grave.
We kill for money.
We kill for sport.
We kill out of jealousy
We kill for possessions.
Basically, we kill simply because we can. All those things shouldn’t matter more than a life.
So the tragedy is we haven’t really evolved much since the beginning of man. We are only better dressed than our ancestors but more violent and crueler.

filmfann's avatar

@Pandora Seriously, are you on the rag or what?
I haven’t killed for religion, land, money, sport, jealousy, or possessions.
Given the opportunity, I might kill an ex-boss of mine, but I don’t really know.
When the state has to kill an inmate, there is an enormous uproar about it being humane and civil. We don’t do the gas chamber, the electric chair, the guillotine, or the firing squad.
We have groups that fight for civil rights, womens rights, and the protection of children.
We are better than you give us credit.

Pandora's avatar

@filmfann I had to laugh. I’m talking about man as a whole species. Not saying every man is exactly like that. Only pointing out that for all our collective genius compared to an ape, we seem to take two steps forward and 3 back.
However I did have to duck when you flung your poo at my direction. ;p

filmfann's avatar

@Pandora To be fair, it wasn’t my poo…
I think we are getting better. You might try a little experiment. Walk across the room, and count your steps. Now, walk backwards to your starting point. Your forward steps are longer, so you cover more ground with two steps forward, than three steps backward.

Pandora's avatar

@filmfann :D Your funny. Well I wasn’t wearing my reading glasses. Was it a shoe? Oh, never mind I think I rather not know. Just glad I didn’t reach for it. Point taken. Well, off to bed I go. I’m going to start garbling my words as my brain is shutting down and my stomach is waking up. Don’t worry my steps will go forward all the way to bed. Have a good one.

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