1. JosephMarch
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    JosephMarch Active Member

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    Do people still like to read tragedies?

    Discussion in 'By the Genre' started by JosephMarch, Jul 3, 2015.

    Like Romeo and Juliet type tragedies? Or 'The Story of an Hour' type stories? I have this book I'm working out the details on. Much of it is still just in my head. But it isn't the usual happy ending. It is pretty bleak at the end, in fact.
    Is there a point? I am still new at this, and very much in the 'what's the point of my writing?' phase.
    Thoughts?
     
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  2. Ben414
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    Ben414 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yes. Don't worry about it. /EndThread
     
  3. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    The Young Elites had a bit of a tragic ending, I liked it a lot. Though there is a sequel planned that might end differently, or not.
     
  4. The Mad Regent
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    The Mad Regent Contributing Member

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    Everyday in the news.
     
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  5. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Keep this in mind:

    There's always an audience for something.
     
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  6. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Literary tragedies have evolved since the days of Shakespeare. Whereas hubris (pride) was important way back in the day, there now exist different mechanisms that drive a character's downfall. So you probably aren't going to find many tragedies that are Shakespearean in nature. But I have no doubt there are modern tragedies that carry on in that same tradition. I just can't think of any at the moment!
     
  7. rincewind31
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    rincewind31 Member

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    Most of the people who read my work tell me it was pretty tragic so I guess they do.
     
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  8. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    Is it possible you're thinking of hamartia rather than hubris? Hubris was the big guy in Greek tragedies, but I think any 'fatal flaw' (hamartia) is enough to make something a Shakespearean tragedy. Could be hubris, could be ambition, could be indecisiveness, could be jealousy... whatever.

    That said, I think you're right that it's not a requirement of modern tragedy, unless you count, say, cancer as an example. Seems like that's what's causing a lot of the literary tragedy these days...
     
  9. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    'Hamartia' doesn't quite mean 'fatal flaw', it's a bad way to think of it as it implies a personality defect is the cause of the hero's downfall - and that isn't the case. It's hardly a personal flaw that lead to the downfall of Oedipus, any interpretation that says it is is extremely debatable, and what about Antigoni? Orestes? (leaving aside the question of if The Oresteia was even an Aristotelian tragedy of course).

    It's better to think of Hamartia as the hero going for purity but missing.

    To the OP - yes, people still read Tragedies. They have changed since playwrights stopped using Poetics as a handbook, though.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2015
  10. D'hai
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    D'hai Member

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    Definitely! I myself still read Tragedies and I know several friends of mine who enjoy them. If you write well and with passion I do not have a shred of doubt that people will be interested in reading your work.
     
  11. Sack-a-Doo!
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    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

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    I read once that having a satisfying ending is more important than having a happy one. There's a lot of stuff you can read on the technical details about hero/anti-hero, comedy/drama, etc. that can help you build a salable novel whether it's tragedy or not.

    I can suggest some reading material:
    -

    - http://writerswrite.co.za/heroes-and-anti-heroes-whats-the-difference
     
  12. Siena
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    Siena Active Member

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    Of course they do.

    If you look carefully, they're everywhere.
     
  13. Sack-a-Doo!
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    Given the diversity of replies on this thread, perhaps it would be an idea to define what we mean by 'tragedy' so we're all on the same page, so to speak...

    Are we talking about the about the original meaning from Greek theatre (where it simply mean 'drama') or are we talking about stories with a tragic ending?
     
  14. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    Erm ... no.
     
  15. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Good idea.

    I thought that by tragedy, we're talking about a character who had good motivation, but was undone by his/her flaws and circumstances outside his/her control.
     
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  16. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    From the sound of the first post, it seems like maybe we're just talking about stories with sad endings.
     
  17. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    This is pretty much my definition as well.
     
  18. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    I see.

    Well, The Fault in Our Stars was pretty popular. Even got made into a movie. Come to think of it, so did Old Yeller and Where The Red Fern Grows. Oh, and Bridge to Teribethia as well.
     
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  19. Sack-a-Doo!
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    My concern is that current trends are going away from stories with sad endings. At least, this was the case twenty-odd years ago. Is it not still the case today? Are stories with sad endings from new authors selling?
     
  20. C. W. Evon
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    C. W. Evon Member

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    Yeah, perhaps more than ever.

    We're exposed to more tragedy than we were in the past. And I find most people, curiously, would rather cry over a fictional problem than their own.
     

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