Dramatic Genres

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What are the different types of traditional drama?  

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Traditionally, going back to Aristotle, drama was placed into two categories. A tragedy was a drama in which a noble hero, through a tragic flaw such as hubris, experienced a reversal of fortune and a recognition of some profound truth. In a tragedy, everyone typically suffered as a result of the protagonist's flaw or mistake. A traditional comedy was a drama in which the good characters were rewarded and the evil characters were punished—it was not necessarily a humorous story or performance.

Since Aristotle's times, however, drama has grown and changed. In the early eighteenth century in England, tragedies began featuring common men as heroes instead of heroes exclusively of noble birth. In the twentieth century, Arthur Miller continued with that approach to tragedy.

Comedy eventually came to define humorous plays. It includes many sub-genres. High comedy is a sophisticated type of comedy that plays homage to its culture. A type of high comedy would be the comedy of manners , which portrays...

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