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Why tragedy?

Asked by Hawaii_Jake (25562 points ) March 11th, 2012

King Lear
Oedipus the King
Hamlet
The Oresteia
Macbeth
Long Days Journey Into Night
Othello
Medea

In one list of the 100 greatest plays written to date, I counted well over 60 or 70 tragedies. The rest were comedies, so-called problem plays, and others like absurdist works that defy categorization.

One doesn’t have to know much about theater to know the names of some of the greatest theatrical works.

Why are they tragedies?

Is life ultimately a tragedy that we humans have to portray it thus?

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