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People tend to view tragedy in cataclysmic and catastrophic terms Every night on the news we hear murders assassinations and bombings referred to as Atragedies Tragedy need not be an event which affects the community at large Rather any event which teaches an important lesson to a specific person or a group of people can be viewed as a type of tragedy While the Greek tragedies focused upon the catastrophic nature of tragedy The Biblical Book of Genesis provides the reader with another tragic paradigm Genesis describes tragic events which are neither catastrophic nor transforming In fact according to the Genesetic paradigm tragedy need not end in death Before entering into a detailed discussion of Genesis we must attempt to define the term tragedy itself Walter Kaufmann defines tragedy in an almost scientific kind of way To him every tragedy must fit into exactly the same mold in precisely the same fashion He writes tragedy is 1 a form of a literature that 2 presents a symbolic action as performed by actors and 3 moves into the center immense human suffering 4 in such a way that it brings to our minds our own forgotten and repressed sorrows as well as those of our kin and humanity 5 releasing us with some sense a that suffering is universal- not a mere accident in our experience b that courage and endurance in suffering or nobility in despair are admirable- not ridiculous- and usually also c that fates worse than our own can be experienced as exhilarating Kaufmanns definition precludes seeing the notion of tragedy through a wider lens His definition is all encompassing and requires many factors in order to be considered a tragedy To him very few writings are true tragedies A tragedy must end in death Aimmense human suffering for it to be included within the canon of tragedy Seemingly tragedy could not occur within the mundane as Kaufmann
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