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Word Count: 943
A tragedy is a play story or other literary work which arouses terror or pity by a series of misfortunes or sad events The plot is usually about the downfall of a great man Many take it a step farther and say that the main character or the person who experiences the downfall brings it upon himself because of some great flaw in his character Maybe all this applies to tragedies written during the time that Sophocles wrote Oedipus but when Shakespeare wrote Othello and Hamlet he must have chosen to leave out some of these elements that make a tragedy Writers during the Golden Age mastered the art of tragic drama Anyone who reads Sophocles Oedipus Trilogy should have a clear understanding of the meaning of tragedy Psychologists who have read Oedipus especially Sigmund Freud have even used it to develop theories about mental illnesses and argue that Oedipus had one How can one say that Oedipus has a mental illness having read the tragedy Oedipus certainly was totally aware of his actions but not in a way that makes him ill he simply did not know what he was doing He did not know that the man had slain was his father or that the woman he loved and had given birth to his children was his mother Had he known this from the beginning he probably would not have killed Laius or married Jocasta but on the other hand if he had known would Oedipus Thomas 2 have been Oedipus Without even getting into a deep plot summary one can see the complexity of a tragedy and just how tragic they are Shakespeares also have tragic endings but take a different format and sometimes make one think that they should be classified somewhat differently from the Oedipus trilogy Some question whether Othello and Hamlet are truly tragedies because Shakespeare does leave out a few elements of earlier tragic drama but careful
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