Tag Archives: THe Merchant of Venice

Life on Earth: Comedy or Tragedy?

We owe the words “comedy” and “tragedy” to the ancient Greeks, whose stage plays in the fifth and fourth centuries B.C. gave rise to the terms. A hundred years of films and about 80 years of commercial television have left us thinking that comedies are comic and tragedies are sad. The Greeks were more nuanced.

Tragedy may contain humorous moments and funny characters, but what makes a tragedy tragic is that it ends badly. The hero fails, the aspiration goes unfulfilled, night falls. Continue reading

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