Drama of a serious and dignified character that typically describes the development of a conflict between the protagonist and a superior force (such as destiny, circumstance, or society) and reaches a sorrowful or disastrous conclusion. Tragedy of a high order has been created in three periods and locales, each with a characteristic emphasis and style: Attica, in Greece, in the 5th century BC; Elizabethan and Jacobean England (1558–1625); and 17th-century France. The idea of tragedy also found embodiment in other literary forms, especially the novel. See also comedy.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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