In literature, the concept of tragedy refer to a series of unfortunate events by which one or more of the literary characters in the story undergo several misfortunes, which finally culminate into a disaster of ‘epic proportions’. Tragedy is generally built up in 5 stages: a) happy times b) the introduction of a problem c) the problem worsens to a crisis or dilemma d) the characters are unable to prevent the problem from taking over e) the problem results in some catastrophic, grave ending, which is the tragedy culminated.

In the play Julius Caesar, the lead character is an ambitious, fearless and power hungry king who ignores all the signs and does not heed the advice of the well-meaning: finally being stabbed to death by his own best friend and advisor Brutus. This moment has been immortalized by the phrase “Et tu Brute?”, wherein Caesar realizes that he has finally been defeated, and that too through betrayal.

One thought on “Tragedy”

  1. Traditionally the lead must have a tragic flaw which eventually is the cause of their downfall – eg Macbeth’s ambition

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