Essay PreviewMore ↓
A tragedy is defined as beginning with a problem that affects everyone, i.e. the whole town or all the characters involved, the tragic hero must solve this problem and this results in his banishment or death [run-on sentence]. A comedy is defined as also beginning with a problem, but one of less significant importance. The characters try to solve the problem and the story ends with all the characters uniting in either a marriage of a party. Although these two genres are seen as being complete opposites of each other, through further analysis one can gather that though they are different certain similarities can also be seen.
One aspect of these genres that can be compared and contrasted is the narrative or plot. A comparison can be analyzed in that both begin with a problem. In Oedipus Rex, the play begins with a plague devastating the city of Thebes. In A Midsummer Night's Dream there is also a plague that is upon the land. However, a difference between these two beginnings is that in Oedipus Rex the citizen are effected by it to the point that they look towards Oedipus for a solution to their suffering; while in A Midsummer Night's Dream, the effects of the plague are never shown to the audience and it seems a minor detail. Another difference is the cause of the plague in the two plays. In the tragedy, Oedipus Rex, the hero ends up being the cause because he murdered the king; while in A Midsummer Night's Dream the cause is a fight between Titania and Oberon.
Another point that can be compared and contrasted is the search for a solution in the plots. In Hamlet, Hamlet is searching for the truth to discover if his father was really murdered by his uncle and if this is true he must correct the situation by killing his uncle. Also, in Oedipus Rex this plot is seen in that Oedipus is searching for the truth about the murder of the old king, Laios, and the situation will be resolved by the murder being banished from Thebes. In contrast A Midsummer Night's Dream is more centered around the lovers trying to overcome the forces that separate them and Oberon seeking revenge on Titania.
How to Cite this Page
"Compare and Contrast Tragedy and Comedy." 123HelpMe.com. 17 Jul 2018
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Compare and Contrast Comedy and Tragedy In a comparison of comedy and tragedy, I will begin by looking at narrative. The narration in a comedy often involves union and togetherness as we see in the marriage scene at the end of Midsummer's Night Dream. William Hazlitt tells us that one can also expect incongruities, misunderstandings, and contradictions. I am reminded of the play The Importance of Being Ernest and the humor by way of mistaken identity. Sigmund Freud tells us to expect excess and exaggeration in comedy.... [tags: comparison compare contrast essays]
902 words (2.6 pages)
- The Relation between Comedy and Tragedy On the surface, comedy and tragedy seem to be complete polar opposites of each other. In terms of the actual narrative, examining the consequences of the character's actions reveals the biggest contrast. In Oedipus Rex, Oedipus' 'sin' of not listening to the Gods and trying to avoid his fate assisted in his downfall. Not only does his internal blindness result in him marrying his mother; it also results in a "plague" across his land. In addition, the blindness towards his own fate causes Oedipus to display a decidedly unkingly side when he accuses Kreon of being the source of the woes of the state.... [tags: comparison compare contrast essays]
586 words (1.7 pages)
A Compare/Contrast Analysis of Plot Development Between Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing and King Lear
- Shakespeare’s dramatic theatre performances have long endured the test of time. His tales of love and loss, and even some history, make a reader think about events in their own life and what they wish to accomplish in life. Though written for the stage, Shakespeare’s plays have life lessons that readers of the great works can take put into effect in their own lives. Some may say that his plays are out dated, and are something of the past; though they were written in the 1600’s, they have morals and themes that can apply to life.... [tags: literary analysis, shakespeare]
1066 words (3 pages)
- Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors and Plautus' Menaechmi and Amphitruo One of Shakespeare's earliest plays (its first recorded performance in December 1594), The Comedy of Errors has frequently been dismissed as pure farce, unrepresentative of the playwright's later efforts. While Errors may very well contain farcical elements, it is a complex, layered work that draws upon and reinterprets Plautine comedy. Shakespeare combines aspects of these Latin plays with biblical source material, chiefly the Acts of the Apostles and the Pauline Epistle to the Ephesians.... [tags: Compare Contrast Errors Plautus Menaechmi Essays]
3554 words (10.2 pages)
- 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.... [tags: comparison compare contrast essays]
745 words (2.1 pages)
- The Changing Tragedy of Oedipus Rex, Hamlet, and Desire under the Elms Tragedy can easily be considered the greatest of all genres due to the fact that it has withstood the test of time. Formally, tragedy employs something more complex than other genres. It is not part of a life full of happy endings. It is part of a bigger system of things. It is part of who we are. Perhaps tragedy is simply the art that truly imitates life.> Historically speaking, the great rises of tragedy have occurred during times of exceptional affluence.... [tags: comparison compare contrast essays]
890 words (2.5 pages)
- Background intro Attributes of comedy and tragedy blend into a new form of drama – tragicomedy. Not to be confused with black comedy or dark humor, tragicomedy is not a “parody of tragedy”(Roche) Tragicomedy, according to Karl Guthke, is “an ambiguous work that integrates tragic and comic moments simultaneously and in tension with one another.” (Roche) While other sources consider tragicomedy as a “loose mix of succeeding moments of tragic and comedic moments.”(Roche) Nonetheless, the definition of what a tragicomedy is lies in the literary elements of tragedy and comedy elements and how both draw in complexity of human emotions and actions.... [tags: trigicomedy, black comedy, hubris]
1756 words (5 pages)
- Comedic Violence in The Medea, The Oresteia, and Antigone Almost no Greek tragedy escapes the use of violence. The Medea, The Oresteia, Antigone, and other classic works of Grecian tragoidia all involve huge components of violence in many prominent places, and for all of these stories, violent action is an integral part of the play. Medea, especially, is a character worthy of note in this regard; her tumultuous life can be plotted accurately along a path of aggression and passionate fits, and her bloody history lends tension and ascendance to the cathartic events of the gripping Medea.... [tags: comparison compare contrast essays]
2369 words (6.8 pages)
- Various parallels in Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Night's Dream tend to support the theory that the two plays are closely related. It is the purpose of this paper to show that wherever parallels exist, the relationship is probably from A Midsummer Night's Dream to Romeo and Juliet. A close analysis of the spirit of the two plays, and of the different attitudes towards love and life that they present, leads us to the conclusion that A Midsummer Night's Dream is the natural reaction of Shakespeare's mind from Romeo and Juliet.... [tags: comparison compare contrast essays]
1511 words (4.3 pages)
- Truth Exposed in A Doll's House and Hedda Gabler "No other dramatist had ever meant so much to the women of the stage," claimed Elizabeth Robins, the actress who performed the title role in the English-language premier of Hedda Gabler in London in 1891 (Farfan 60). Henrik Ibsen was a Norwegian dramatist and poet whose works are notorious for their unveiling of the truths that society preferred to keep hidden. Ibsen was sensitive to women's issues and through his works, he advocated for women's rights, a controversial issue for a male writer in the 19th century.... [tags: compare and contrast essay examples]
3087 words (8.8 pages)
Another aspect of comedy and tragedy that can be compared and contrasted is the characters of the play. A similarity is that in the tragedies of Hamlet and Oedipus Rex the main characters are royalty, and in the comedy A Midsummer Night's Dream the characters of Titania, Oberon, Hippolyta, and Theseus are royalty. Also, in Desire Under the Elms the characters are farmers and in A Midsummer Night's Dream the characters of Bottom and the other persons in his play are also men who work with their hands. A difference between all these characters is that in the tragedies all the characters are dealing with serious issues that effect the whole outcome of their lives in that they die due to the problem or are banished as outcast from their homes or are sent to jail and are uncertain of if they will live. While in comedy the characters are faced with serious problems but it is handled in a humorous way with a sense that all will end well. This is in A Midsummer Night's Dream when Hermia is faced with the serious option of a loveless marriage, a life as a nun, or running away from home; however the consequence of her choice to run away from home is solved with magic and the silly switching of loves that is righted in the morning. [well-put] Another aspect of the characters is the use of humor in the plays. In A Midsummer Night's Dream, the characters of royalty use high humor and wit; likewise Hamlet uses wit and at the party in Desire Under the Elms a kind of wit is used. Also, in A Midsummer Night's Dream the character Bottom uses low humor by inappropriately using words, using body and food humor. This is also seen in Hamlet with the gravedigger scene in that they mispronounce words; and in Desire Under the Elms in that the brothers Simeon and Peter use low humor. One of the big differences between the humor used by the characters in comedy and tragedy is that the humor in tragedy takes on a dark tone due to the context that the humor is used in. It can't be light humor because it's about serious subject matter like death and incest.
Finally, the audience appeal in comedy and tragedy is an aspect of the two that has similarities and differences. The audience in a tragedy leaves that tragedy with a sense that they have witnessed something so horrible that their lives are good in comparison. Also, in the case of the three tragedies we have studied the audience gets to vicariously fulfill the taboo of the Oedipus complex and see the horrible consequences to that desire. The audience appeal in comedy is that they get to see serious problems dealt with in a humorous manner that can help them see that their problems may not be as serious as they thought. While the audience sees the subjects dealt with in different ways both comedy and tragedy help them to gauge their own problems in comparison.
While comedy and tragedy are usually viewed as two entirely different subjects, there are some similarities between the two. They both begin with serious problems but the true difference is in the way those problems are handled and the consequences that the characters suffer from those problems.