The Tragedy Of Tennessee William 's A Streetcar Name Desire Essay

The Tragedy Of Tennessee William 's A Streetcar Name Desire Essay

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First, the Greek tragedy introduces a new type of production. Instead of telling what has already happened, which previous plays had done, the Greeks began to show what may happen. At this point, the plot was quite straightforward. The tragic hero causes his own demise; however, the playwright follows the hero’s downfall with a purging of pity and fear, called catharsis. Centuries later, Elizabethan theatre gained popularity. Shakespeare was the pinnacle of this era; he even invented his own genre of tragedy: the Elizabethan revenge tragedy. Even so, many of his tragedies build upon ideologies founded in Greek theatre. His tragedies also consisted of a tragic hero whose demise brought about a purging of emotions such as pity and fear. Within the last few centuries, tragedy has transformed, creating another form of drama: the modern tragedy. This form of tragedy, exemplified in Tennessee William’s A Streetcar Name Desire, evolved to exemplify newfound perspectives on life, humanity, and the art of theatre itself while still holding onto basic elements from both the Greeks and Elizabethans.
First, while modern tragedy contains a tragic hero like the plays before it, many characteristics are altered to create a more realistic downfall. In Greek theatre, a tragic hero was typically one of high status who had a tragic flaw called a hamartia. With this flaw, the character brings about their own downfall, which often means their own death. For example, in Aristotle’s Antigone, Creon, the current ruler, refuses to listen to reason. His hubris, or excessive pride, indirectly causes the death of three people, leaving him with no family. Shakespeare’s tragic heroes often followed the same pattern. For example, in Macbeth, Macbeth was origin...


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...ry unsettling. So even though the audience can try to find relief at the end, the larger picture of the ending reveals that many conflicts are left unresolved.
The modern tragedy presents an interesting perspective on life. It’s not as linear and clean as previous tragedies. While the tragic hero has a downfall, it is not only a result of his or her own flaw, but the flaws of those around them as well. Williams demonstrates how other human beings have impacts on each others lives. The style of expressing emotion has changed with a stronger emphasis on realism and interpretation. Finally, the ending isn’t satisfying. While the audience may fight to come to terms with the ending, they are still left with the fact that Blanche was wronged by Stanley. They long to see justice served, but it never is. Instead, the villain wins, because life is not always fair and honest.

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