What are the salient features of tragedy? Explain with relevant examples.

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In classic literature, works fall into one of two categories - tragedy or comedy. In tragic works, you see many common themes.

Some examples -

Simplicity - tragic heroes typically behave predictably and lack flexibility

Preference for the familiar - violating norms brings about the tragic fall, where as in a comedy the hero will see breaking the norm as an opportunity

Uncritical Thinking - tragic heroes tend not to question the accepted order of things

Emotional Engagement - tragic characters often give into their emotions completely and have extreme reactions

Stubborness and Seriousness - tragic heroes have a course and stick to it and they remain serious throughout

Social Isolation - tragedies often stress the individual and their alienation of society

Look at Romeo & Juliet and Macbeth for relevant examples. Romeo & Juliet lack the ability to see other options for themselves. They isolate themselves and are stubborn and one-tracked minded. They absolutely give into their emotions (rather easily) and are unable to think and respond rationally.

Macbeth is certainly stubborn. He isolates himself by killing his friends and their families. He is unable to get past his own greed and amibition and stops at nothing to achieve his goals.

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