Introduction to Drama: A Beginner’s Guide to Tragicomedy



Tragicomedy is a literary genre that blends aspects of both tragic and comic forms. Most often seen in dramatic literature, the term can variously describe either a tragic play which contains enough comic elements to lighten the overall mood or a serious play with a happy ending. The main purpose of tragicomedy is to describe dual nature of reality where both modes can coexist, perhaps simultaneously

Examples of Tragicomedies

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1. Which of the following statements is the most accurate tragicomedy definition?
A. A genre that combines elements of both tragedy and comedy.
B. A play with many humorous and lighthearted aspects and ends with several marriages.
C. A work of literature that encourages the reader to laugh at the misfortunes of others.

2. Which of the following plot lines could be an example of a tragicomedy?
A. Two characters get married, but jealousy overcomes the husband and he murders his wife at the end of the play.
B. A man seeks revenge for his dead father, which leads to many more deaths, including his own.
C. Two characters consider absurd concepts and talk about light-hearted ideas, but end up dead at the end of the play

3. Which of the following statements is true?
A. Gods and kings were generally not a part of tragedies in Ancient Greek and Roman plays.
B. The comic playwright Plautus is considered the first to acknowledge the need for and presence of tragicomedy.
C. Tragicomedies always must end in a happy way.