tragoed Metamorphosis of the Tragedy in Oedipus Rex, Hamlet, and Desire Under the Elms

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Metamorphosis of the Tragedy in Oedipus Rex, Hamlet, and Desire Under the Elms

Tragedy is considered by many to be the greatest of the genres. Often something goes wrong and exposes something great. Characters generally have more depth as evidenced by Hamlet. Tragedy shows up in the great periods of history: Classical Greece, Renaissance, and the early 20th century. It is a far more complex genre than comedy or romance. It teaches people to think since the storylines never have a simple answer or resolution. We see this in Desire Under the Elms. Family relationships and inheritances are complicated and even when Abbie kills the baby, Eben decides to join her in her guilty plea when he is clearly not a participant in the murder. Unlike comedy, there is less spectacle onstage. Iokaste hangs herself offstage, King Hamlet's murder is only reenacted but not seen directly, and the audience doesn't see Abbie murder her baby. This forces or allows the audience members to use their imaginations to envision these crucial scenes, adding a layer of complexity to the play. Hamlet we are reminded of fate by the line, "There's a divinity that shapes our ends." Then in Desire, Cabot consistently looked to God for direction. These situations don't allow us to remain passive and simply be entertained when we view tragedy. We must grapple with the tough issues of life.

Plot is considered significant in tragedy for many reasons. . Plot examines the limits of human greatness. It is the most examined area in the study of literature probably because it is unique to humans. It can be both edifying for an audience and, at the same time, allow for a catharsis. Plot allows characters to play out their fate. Freud believe...

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...e less class conscious, the need for high status of one man disappears. In Desire the hero(es) were farmers.

Another way that tragedy has evolved is through more comedy being added to the tragedy. Oedipus has no real comic scenes. Hamlet had a few, but Desire had evidence of comedy sprinkled throughout by way of the brothers, the dance, food and drink, and animal references. Tragedy also had evolved to the point of having more romance. Again romance was missing from Oedipus, we saw a bit more in Hamlet between Claudius and Gertrude and Hamlet and Ophelia. But then in the modern tragedy romance is at the center of the play, albeit an uncomfortable, complicated romance. Some example in the play Desire include: the sexual advances, the kiss and walk away together, the reuniting at the end, stage directions that describe the physical appearance.

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