Antigone is almost like a sequel to Oedipus which means that once again there is quite a lot of tragedy. The difference is that in Oedipus there is tragedy throughout the whole thing and his whole life, with Antigone there is tragedy a little bit at the begging when both brother fight each other and die but then it holds off until the very end to get very tragic. Antigone and Ismene the sisters are struggling already but Antigone decides that she can't live with one of her brothers not being buried correctly while the other gets a high up burial. She quite literally decides she would rather die, than let her brother go out of this world like that. Kreon since becoming king has stopped listening to what others have to say, and stopped caring about anyone but himself and his image which ends up being his downfall. Kreon truly makes a tragedy for himself by ignoring even his own son and a profit who has been around for years. He decides that he must uphold the rule that basically if anyone disobeys or goes against the king for any reason it is punishable by death, even if it is his own niece and his sons soon to be bride. When he sends Antigone away after his son failing to convince him, she hangs herself rather than starve to death in a cave, alone, so even when Kreon realizes his mistake he is too late, and even his son has died by his own sword. Finally just to truly drill down the tragedy, as he carries his dead son into the castle he finds out that his wife killed herself as well. Kreon is left surrounded by death and despair, making this a true tragedy.
In this TED Talk, Dan Ariely (I think his name is), brings up that in many ways when we make a decision, there are so many other factors that we are barely even able to decide for ourselves. He began by using visual illusions to show us our minds can play tricks on us and visual distractions/misconceptions are common but so are cognitive versions, it just not many think of what might factor into a decision before they make one. Factors such as what the question looks like or how its worded, he used the example of at the DMV when they ask you if you would like to be an organ donor. Countries who used the wording "check this box if you don't want to be an organ donor" had an incredibly larger amount of donors than the countries who worded the question "Check the box if you would like to be an organ donor". People would rather not put in the effort to check the box, so whatever the default is, thats what goes. He then went on to speak about how sometimes a third option can influence or change our minds based on the comparison. One could use this make one option sound like a deal or to make one option sound/look better. Ariely used the example of a subscription of some sort where one option was they could mail it to you for $65 lets say, the second option was they could email it you for $125 and the last was you could have both for $125. Now the company that did this thought it was a mistake and took it down when he pointed it out, but he then took it and did a study. Most people picked the more expensive option of both because it looked like a deal in comparison to the second option, but when he took out the second option, most people chose the first, cheaper option. I believe he was trying to show us that we need to analyze more closely why we chose that decision, instead of just letting other factors influence what we choose, but ultimately it is impossible to see things that way as we make the decision, just like even after you proof a visual illusion wrong, your brain still sees it incorrectly.
This relates to Tragedy in many ways, but I am going to use Oedipus as an example here. Oedipus did everything he possibly could to get away from the prophecy but ultimately failed because he couldn't make the decisions on his own. He had influence, in this case from "fate" if you will, he was destined on that path from the moment he was born and even though he thought he was changing it with his own decisions, he was following it exactly.
There are multiple tragedies within Oedipus, the first is his parents giving him away because of the prophecy. His parents wanted so badly for the prophecy to never come true that they decided to give their only son to a servant to tie up and nail to the ground to die on some random path. Which is horrible in itself, and also begs the question of why they couldn't just kill him then and there if they were that afraid, they would rather him starve to death, which is awful. Oedipus then is taken to adoptive parents and when he finds out his own prophecy he flees the town he grew up in, in fear of marrying his mother and killing his father like the prophecy foretold. He is unaware that those are not his real parents, on the way to Thebes he encounters the king Laius but he doesn't know that it is the king let alone his father. He slaughters his father and the men with him. Oedipus continues on to Thebes where he "saves the people"so they make him King and he marries Laius' wife Jocasta and they have 4 kids. The next tragedy is finding out that Jocasta is his mom, who he has married and had children with that are both his children and his siblings. Oedipus then curses whoever killed the late King that many loved(not knowing it was him), it takes him a very long time to figure this out and then he figured out that Jocasta had figured this out before him and didn't tell him so he summons his sword and runs to his room where he finds that his mother/wife has hung herself. All of this tragedy takes him over, he decides he hates himself so he grabs his mothers brooches and stabs his own eyes repeatedly until they are massacred, he is completely blind, and there is a "storm of blood" running down his face and body. The last tragic thing is that his daughters come in and see him all bloody with his eyes stabbed out, and he states how he worries for them for who will marry children of incest, no one. He asks a couple things of Creon, first to be banished, and second for him to find his daughters some husbands, to which Creon finally tells him it is time for him to stop giving orders.
This essay, written by Arthur Miller called "Tragedy and the Common Man" discusses what tragedy within literature means now compared to before. The essay starts by talking about tragedy's usual connection to nobility and power, but Miller says basically that we do this in order to make it almost not relatable to ourselves at all. We want to distance ourselves from tragedy in order to make it somewhat enjoyable or even comedic. Miller then goes on to explain that even though we attempt to distance ourselves, the feelings within the stories evoke emotions that everyone can relate to. I actually think Miller's view of the tragedy are very insightful and helpful. In line 29-30 he says this "Tragedy, then, is the consequence of a mans total compulsion to evaluate himself justly." I think this is a very perceptive definition or maybe even explanation of tragedy. I think what Miller means by this is that by attempting to evaluate themselves fairly the heroes cause themselves a great deal of struggle.Each hero has a "tragic flaw", Miller explains how this "flaw" isn't always a weakness, it usually has to do with an "inherent unwillingness" to give up on the challenge or to fail on getting to his "rightful status". Miller then states that technically only the passive or those who accept what they are and what they have without retaliation are "flawless", he believes this is another way that regular people can relate to tragedy because there are plenty of people who act against the process, even today. In many ways this essay confirmed what I had thought about tragedy but it also gave me new perspective on what exactly makes up tragedy and why we like reading/seeing it.
In this TED talk his main focus seemed to be Meritocracy and how as an ideal, it is incredible, if society could work like that in real life, he would stand behind it with everything in him but it is impossible. In Meritocracy, the good people would be at the top and the bad are at thee bottom, but he explained that a society like that will never exist. There will always be bad people at the top and good people on the bottom. The perception of "lower" people has changed so much since the middle ages that it makes snobbiness impossible to avoid. The lower status used to be called "unfortunates" because it was truly seen as though they just happened to be not blessed, now in America we would call those people "losers" using the belief that they had failed in order to be there, at the bottom. Which he later explained is simply not the case, you do control yourself but you can only control so much of your life and what happened to you in it.
As for Tragedy , he discusses this somewhere in the middle, he started by using self- help books as an example of perception. According to him, there are two types of self help books, one kind is telling you that "You can do it!" and "You are unstoppable!" the other is basically a book on how to cope with low self esteem. Then he leads into different perceptions/levels of sympathy. He explains what happens when you give a tragic story to a newspaper and they make a headline out of it, usually they take the worst things from the story and try and shove them together. For example: the story of Romeo and Juliet turns into "Couple drinks poison together and dies!". He basically just explained how everyone perceives tragedy and sympathy differently, and it is impossible to have the perfect society because success is relative.
I remember a little bit about tragedy from previous years, such as that it has to do with suffering, and sadness. Usually Tragedies are mostly plays right? I can think of a couple examples of tragedy stories but most are plays. I know tragedy comes from Greece. I also know there are some incredibly famous philosophers and playwrights attached to the genre. That is about all I can remember.
What I found about tragedy is this:
I was correct, famous philosophers such as Plato, Aristotle, and Saint Augustine all spent time analyzing, exploring this genre. Monumental writers such as Shakespeare also loved the genre. The word tragedy derives from classical Greece, Aristotle provides the earliest-surviving explanation of this dramatized genre. There seems to be almost a sub-genre called "Revenge Tragedy", which is a dramatic tragedy in which the main character seeks revenge for an imagined or real suffering or injury. It is thought that revenge tragedy originated from Roman tragedies. Tragedy of the commons seems to have to do with someone being selfish, it is an economic theory in which a person only cares about their own well being and not the "common good". The concept and name came from this man William Forster Lloyd, who wrote an essay using examples of common land. Most of what I found from research just confirmed what I had remembered/thought and then expanded on my definitions. I found out in more detail what I thought I knew, and went into a couple newer ideals such as Revenge Tragedy and the economic idea of the Tragedy of commons.