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Showing posts with label individual versus collective. Show all posts
Showing posts with label individual versus collective. Show all posts

Saturday, 3 July 2021

Traditional Distinctions: Comedy versus Tragedy

 Traditional Distinctions: Comedy versus Tragedy

elementstragedycomedy
reader responsestrong emotions: pity and fearlighthearted: laughter
reader distanceattraction aversion: close enough to feel pity but wanting to escape from fear, terrorironic or comic distance, we cannot be too close or sympathize too much with the "victim" of a comedy
reader focuson an individual, we are inside the hero's head, emotions, dilemma; often sense the entire play is about this individualon a collective, on a group of people therefore not a strong concern about a single individual, more on relationships between people than the inner life of a single character
plotunified,strong sense of coherence and cohesion of events, serious, 24 hours, imitation(mimesis) of reality but with a "beginning, middle and end"; sense of individual quest, typical plot is a character against fate or destiny as determined either by the gods or society, often a double-bind situation where no positive result is possibleincongruity, wit, humour, repetition, exaggeration, error; accidents 
surprising, ridiculouos series of events; most typical plot of comedy is a young couple being blocked from each other by someone older
characterhero is a superior character, or what Frye calls high mimetic; important role in society, but also displays personal characteristics like courage, strength, determination, desire for truth, capacities for leadership or self expressioncharacters tend to be like us or below us, low mimetic or ironic in Frye's terms; inferior characters means that we do not take their destinies or behaviour too seriously
themes and issuesmost serious themes and abstract issues: future of the state, death of a king, taboos like incest and patricide/regicide; tied to gods, religion, justice, honour; transcendence and fate, existentialism, the meaning of life and the ultimate truth of our existencebawdy and body themes; body parts and body functions are at issue, sex and cuckoldry are common themes
language and imagerylanguage is of the highest level and tone to correspond to the most serious of themes and issue abstract issues: religion, the gods, honour, truth, justice, and seriousness of tone, regicide, incest, matricide, the future of the state language is expected to be of a lower register and we expect to hear about body parts and body functions therefore vulgar, vernacular, and colloquial
endingends in death, disaster, destruction of the central character and others; Frye observes that tragedy ends with the hero separated or alienated from his society--if he survivesa happy ending, or at least one in which people get what they deserve (as in "poetic justice"; Frye observes that in comedy the characters end up being brought closer to and into line with their society.

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