1. greywolf90
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    greywolf90 New Member

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    tragedy vs. comedy

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by greywolf90, Apr 24, 2008.

    how do you all feel about a tragic ending (with the story ending with the death of the hero/heroine) vs. a "happily ever after" ending. although i enjoy both, i think i tend to favor a tragic ending over a happy ending. while happy endings can leave the reader with a feeling of joy and bliss, some tend to leave me feeling unsatisfied. as long as the characters live, the story could still go on; it seems that only in death can a story truely end. i find that while some tragedies can leave the reader deprressed, others can be truely beautiful and so much more meaningful. i am planning on writing my own tragedy, and i hope that i can make it the latter one.
     
  2. Sugar N. Spice
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    Sugar N. Spice Senior Member

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    I love a cross between both- like a bittersweet ending. I love the perfect blend of tragedy and comedy. But that's just me.
     
  3. ValianceInEnd
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    ValianceInEnd Active Member

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    Tragic endings can be successful, but as you said, need to be meaningful and beautiful. Just killing off characters and ending it right there usually sucks. I like it when the characters sacrifice themselves for some better means. Those endings are really powerful. Still, I also like the good humor/tragedy where the poor character dies in a (Sickly) hilarious way. ;)
     
  4. Michael Davis
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    Michael Davis Member

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    I've never liked books that killed off someone I had grown to like or love in the story. I do have my Hero/heroines hurt, but never killed. After spending 100k words to get the reader to love em, I don't want to kill em off. But that's just me.
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    The big question in tragedy is, "Why did the character die, or suffer profound loss?" Tragedy is a form that has evolved over the ages, in ways that tend to reflact the culture the piece was written for. The Golden Age Greek tragedies were centered on the theme that the lead was punished for trying to avoid his or her fate. The lead was generally already doomed from the start, but invariably made matters worse by trying to avoid the predestined end.

    In Shakespeare's time, tragedy was more often the result of terrible timing. Consider Romeo and Juliet as a classic example - messages delivered late, characters showing up at just the wrong time and making incorrect assumptions.

    Twentieth century tragedy tends to focus on character flaws or skewed priorities. Death of a Salesman is a prime example. You can also view most disaster films, and even most slasher films, in this light, where several characters usually meet their demise because of greed or promiscuity, or other "sins". A variation is to also place the blame on the flaws of society itself.

    Overall, tragedy is used as a means of social commentary. A tragic ending should have a clear purpose, not simply be a flip-of-the-coin decision.

    On the other hand, the-sun-is-shining-and-everyone-is-singing endings will send most viewers into a diabetic shock, even if it's a comic piece.

    A more balanced ending is to resolve the major conflict, but to leave a number of unresolved lesser problems. That's modelled after real life.
     
  6. greywolf90
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    greywolf90 New Member

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    good point cogito. i am familiar with greek and shakespearean tragedies (my favorite greek tagedy is achilles). i think the tragedy i am writing would fall under shakespearean, where the hero resolves the conflict, but this results in his death (i.e. hamlet). i also should have mentioned that it will be a love tragedy, where the hero and the heroine both die together (i.e. romeo and juliet).
     
  7. -NM-
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    -NM- Active Member

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    I like tragic endings, but only if the rest of the book has been good enough to make me feel sad about it, otherwise i just don't care if they die or not.

    The happily ever endings give me much less to feel depressed about afterwards, but they aren't as powerful and memorable as tragic endings.
     
  8. Mr Sci Fi
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    Mr Sci Fi Senior Member

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    Depends on the ending. I think "The Merchant of Venice" could have done without the comedic ending and just ended the story after Act IV. Act V was pure fluff and nonsense.

    And this is just my opinion, but I think Romeo could have at least waited one more minute before drinking the poison. I mean... just ONE MINUTE.

    Oedipus poking his eyes out should be left just the way it is.
     

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