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Comedy and Tragedy

In: English and Literature

Submitted By yaltoony
Words 1075
Pages 5
Elianne El-Amyouni
Dr. Sabah Ghandour
English 244
Comedy and Tragedy in Drama “All tragedies are finished by a death. All comedies are ended by a marriage,” (Byron, N.D.). To some degree, Byron is somewhat correct. Of course, there are dramatic texts considered under the category of “tragedy” that do involve death while there are also those that do not. In Lorca’s The House of Bernarda Alba, the play tragically ends with the death of one of the main character’s daughters. On the other hand, Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, although including tragedy and sadness in the ending, did not involve death. Likewise with comedies, although some classics do end in marriage as in Chekhov’s The Brute, comic endings can vary greatly. Moreover, plays over time have varied greatly in their morals, structure and form, and belong to a much larger scale than only death and marriage. Musical Greek dramas, biblical re-enactments of Medieval drama, pastoral drama of 16th century Italy and the “Theatre of the Absurd” are all contributors to the definition of drama. While Byron may not have been completely serious when coming up with this saying, it is unfair to limit the end of all tragedies to death and of all comedies to marriage, especially since the categories of drama vary greatly. First of all, a common genre in dramatic plays is tragedy. Garcia Lorca’s The House of Bernarda Alba is an ideal example of Byron’s “tragedy”. The play discusses the sexually repressed lives of a group of young women living in the house of the all-powerful dictator Bernarda Alba. One of the girls, by the end of the play, becomes so frantic about the man she has been forbidden to see that she eventually shoots herself. “ADELA: No one can hold me back! (She tries to go out). ANGUSTIAS: You’re not getting out of here with your body’s triumph! Thief! Disgrace of this house! MAGDALENA: Let her go where we’ll...

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