History DownerEnding / Theater

1st Nov '16 9:34:33 PM Theatre_Maven_3695
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*** One of the movie adaptations makes it even ''worse''. Juliet wakes up ''while Romeo is still alive'', but he has already drunk the poison. So he dies knowing that his death was ''completely pointless''. As if the original ending wasn't enough of a downer.

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*** [[Film/WilliamShakespearesRomeoAndJuliet One of the movie adaptations adaptations]] makes it even ''worse''. Juliet wakes up ''while Romeo is still alive'', but he has already drunk the poison. So he dies knowing that his death was ''completely pointless''. As if the original ending wasn't enough of a downer.
13th Oct '16 12:44:06 PM wootzits
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* To Creator/WilliamShakespeare, a "tragedy" meant "play with a tragic ending for the protagonist", so most of his tragedies count. (''Theatre/RomeoAndJuliet'' is the best example) but not all, seeing as plays with a VillainProtagonist counted too. (Many of them, like ''Theatre/{{Macbeth}}'' were tragic because the story involved a FallenHero who was corrupted by evil, and while the endings were rarely all-too happy, they still ended with a better ending than most examples here.)

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* To Creator/WilliamShakespeare, a "tragedy" meant "play with a tragic ending for the protagonist", so most of his tragedies count. (''Theatre/RomeoAndJuliet'' is the best example) count, but not all, seeing as plays with a VillainProtagonist counted too. (Many of them, like ''Theatre/{{Macbeth}}'' were tragic because the story involved a FallenHero who was corrupted by evil, and while the endings were rarely all-too happy, they still ended with a better ending than most examples here.) )
** ''Theatre/RomeoAndJuliet'' and all their adaptations by extension. They kill themselves at the end when if Romeo had waited just one more single minute he would have seen Juliet was [[NotQuiteDead not dead]] and they could have gone off into the sunset together. A very notable example because, [[Creator/WilliamShakespeare besides the obvious]], it actually starts as ''a comedy.'' It has been posited that the play ends as a comedy, as well, albeit a somewhat bittersweet one, and is regarded as a tragedy because "ha, ha, teenagers are amazingly stupid" isn't regarded as quite as sustainable a joke in the 1800s-2000s as when it was written. It has most of the trappings of a comedy (secret rendevous ending in misunderstandings, love triangles, wedding-related shenanigans) even in the final act, and given the social mores of the period it's unlikely that a pair of 13-year-old lovers getting married after a week and then accidentally poisoning themselves was intended to be entirely sympathetic. More like comedic sociopathy plus values dissonance than a true example of the trope.
*** One of the movie adaptations makes it even ''worse''. Juliet wakes up ''while Romeo is still alive'', but he has already drunk the poison. So he dies knowing that his death was ''completely pointless''. As if the original ending wasn't enough of a downer.
*** That's also how the opera by Charles Gounod ends. He tells her he's poisoned so she stabs herself so they can die together. Their last words are ''Seigneur, Seigneur, pardonnez-nous!'' (Lord, Lord, forgive us!).
*** That, believe it or not, has actually been subverted in a recent novel adaptation of the story called "Romeo's Ex." The book is mainly told from the point of view of [[TheGhost Rosaline]], who, with Benvolio (and after the technical "canon" ending of the play), manages to make Romeo throw up the poison in time, saving his life. Although Juliet stays dead.
** ''Theatre/{{Macbeth}}'', despite being named as a tragedy, is really more of a BittersweetEnding because, when you think about it, it's pretty darn happy that the EvilOverlord is overthrown and a new, fairer king is installed.
** In ''Theatre/{{Hamlet}}'' the hero manages to kill his father's murderer, but by that time the deaths of everybody else in the play have already happened.
** Theatre/{{Othello}} murders his wife because he is lead to believe that she is unfaithful, only to find out that she was not, leaving him no real option other than suicide.
** ''Theatre/KingLear''. Both Lear and the Earl of Gloucester misjudge their children, driving away the faithful children and putting themselves in the hands of the faithless ones. Both find out how wrong they were. Both are reunited with their loving child only to die afterwards. Lear, in particular, is content to spend the rest of his life in prison so long as he is with Cordelia, only to have her murdered. (There is good reason why Shakespeare's version was almost never performed for roughly 150 years.)
* ''Theatre/OedipusRex'' and its sequels.
** When Oedipus is born it is prophecized that he will kill his father and marry his mother. So, Oedipus is abandoned in the wilderness to die, [[WhyDontYouJustShootHim but of course]] [[GenreBlind this doesn't work]] and he is eventually adopted by the rulers of some other state who he believes to be his birth parents. In possibly the earliest documentation of road rage, Oedipus unknowingly kills his biological father. He solves the riddle of the Sphynx and unknowingly marries his biological mother and has children with her, which causes a plague to descend on his kingdom because nature/the gods/whatever are so not cool with this. His wife/mother commits suicide when she realizes what has happened. Once Oedipus realizes what has happened shortly afterward he finds the dead body of his wife/mother and [[EyeScream uses the broaches in her clothing to gouge his eyes out.]] And then the sequels just get worse and worse for Oedipus and his children.
** The sequels also worsen for the whole city of Thebes, as well as Argos, Colonus, and for that matter most of Greece. Oedipus's two sons go to war over the city, leading one to betray the city and to lead an army of 7 champions (the Seven Against Thebes) to Thebes, where both brothers and the champions of both cities are slaughtered. Oedipus dies at Colonus after basically refusing to back either son, Antigone commits suicide to protest Creon's treatment of her brother, and Creon's son- who was engaged to marry Antigone- kills himself. Creon's wife blames him and ALSO kills herself, leaving Creon as a broken king of a broken city as another army of champions marches on Thebes.
* ''Theatre/{{Medea}}'' in particular in that no one learns anything from the whole business.
12th Oct '16 3:55:02 AM Morgenthaler
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* '' {{A Streetcar Named Desire}}''. Sure, everyone knows Blanche's famous last line "I have always relied on the kindness of strangers." In the play, these are her final words as she is led to an insane asylum. After being raped by her sister's husband. And her sister blames her. And the sister and husband stay together. The kindness of strangers indeed...

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* '' {{A ''Theatre/{{A Streetcar Named Desire}}''. Sure, everyone knows Blanche's famous last line "I have always relied on the kindness of strangers." In the play, these are her final words as she is led to an insane asylum. After being raped by her sister's husband. And her sister blames her. And the sister and husband stay together. The kindness of strangers indeed...



* ''Bat Boy: The Musical'': Bat Boy/Edgar has a psychological breakdown and flies into a murderous/suicidal rage after it is revealed to him that Meredith is his mother and Shelley is [[IncestIsRelative his twin sister]], Mrs. Taylor burns her last surviving child alive because she mistook him for the Bat Boy, and Dr. Parker kills Edgar, Meredith, and himself, leaving Shelley and the few surviving townspeople to tell the story to the man who was coming to take Edgar away to a mental institute.

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* ''Bat Boy: The Musical'': ''Theatre/BatBoyTheMusical'': Bat Boy/Edgar has a psychological breakdown and flies into a murderous/suicidal rage after it is revealed to him that Meredith is his mother and Shelley is [[IncestIsRelative his twin sister]], Mrs. Taylor burns her last surviving child alive because she mistook him for the Bat Boy, and Dr. Parker kills Edgar, Meredith, and himself, leaving Shelley and the few surviving townspeople to tell the story to the man who was coming to take Edgar away to a mental institute.
11th Sep '16 12:05:43 PM StFan
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* TheMisanthrope: Célimène is revealed to have been playing all her suitors, Alceste rejects her offer of marriage and is determined to become a hermit. The BetaCouple expresses their intent to talk him down, but then the play [[NoEnding just ends]].

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* TheMisanthrope: ''Theatre/TheMisanthrope'': Célimène is revealed to have been playing all her suitors, Alceste rejects her offer of marriage and is determined to become a hermit. The BetaCouple expresses their intent to talk him down, but then the play [[NoEnding just ends]].
27th Jul '16 5:07:04 PM KingClark
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* ''Theatre/{{Cabaret}}''. The Nazis are in power, Cliff flees Berlin and what looks to be his only chance at a family, Sally has a mental breakdown, and the BetaCouple falls apart for the very practical reason that one of them is Jewish. Oh, and in some productions, it's implied that the Emcee ends up as a victim of the Holocaust (Usually with the blatant implication that it was because he's gay). Musicals are such light-hearted fun, ja?

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* ''Theatre/{{Cabaret}}''. The Nazis are in power, Cliff flees Berlin and what looks to be his only chance at a family, Sally has a mental breakdown, and the BetaCouple falls apart for the very practical reason that one of them is Jewish. Oh, and in some productions, it's implied that the Emcee ends up as a victim of the Holocaust (Usually (usually with the blatant implication that it was because he's gay). Musicals are such light-hearted fun, ja?
22nd Jun '16 5:55:39 PM DeadSkunk
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Added DiffLines:

* TheMisanthrope: Célimène is revealed to have been playing all her suitors, Alceste rejects her offer of marriage and is determined to become a hermit. The BetaCouple expresses their intent to talk him down, but then the play [[NoEnding just ends]].
24th May '16 8:02:24 PM lilysakura220
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* ''Theatre/{{Wicked}}''. Yeah Elphaba and Fiyero are alive, but they have to leave their homes, he's stuck as a scarecrow, Glinda is now all alone with every single person she's ever been close to dead or in jail, Nessa is dead, Boq is a tin man and the Wizard had his world shattered by Glinda's revelation. Irreversible.

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* ''Theatre/{{Wicked}}''. Yeah Yeah, Elphaba and Fiyero are alive, but they have to leave their homes, Oz forever, he's stuck as a scarecrow, Glinda is now all alone with every single person she's ever been close to dead dead, believed to be dead, or in jail, Nessa is dead, Boq is a tin man and the Wizard had his world shattered by Glinda's revelation. Irreversible.



** Ha, you think thats bad, in the novel version, Fiyero is killed off half way, Elphaba goes partly mad with grief and depression, calls Glinda a traitor and abandons her, all her animal companions are killed off, she fails to rescue her half-niece from the Wizard, kills her Nanny, and then accidentally get killed by Dorothy and the wizard gets to fly away happy. The worst part is Elpheba is forever remembered afterwards as the "wicked witch", eternally being remembered as the personification of evil.

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** Ha, you think thats that's bad, in the novel version, Fiyero is killed off half way, Elphaba goes partly mad with grief and depression, calls Glinda a traitor and abandons her, all her animal companions are killed off, she fails to rescue her half-niece from the Wizard, kills her Nanny, and then accidentally get gets killed by Dorothy and the wizard gets to fly away happy. The worst part is Elpheba Elphaba is forever remembered afterwards as the "wicked witch", eternally being remembered as the personification of evil.
9th Jan '16 12:01:48 PM StFan
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* To Creator/WilliamShakespeare, a "tragedy" meant "play with a tragic ending for the protagonist", so most of his tragedies count. (''Theatre/RomeoAndJuliet'' is the best example) but not all, seeing as plays with a VillainProtagonist counted too. (Many of them, like ''Theater/{{Macbeth}}'' were tragic because the story involved a FallenHero who was corrupted by evil, and while the endings were rarely all-too happy, they still ended with a better ending than most examples here.)

to:

* To Creator/WilliamShakespeare, a "tragedy" meant "play with a tragic ending for the protagonist", so most of his tragedies count. (''Theatre/RomeoAndJuliet'' is the best example) but not all, seeing as plays with a VillainProtagonist counted too. (Many of them, like ''Theater/{{Macbeth}}'' ''Theatre/{{Macbeth}}'' were tragic because the story involved a FallenHero who was corrupted by evil, and while the endings were rarely all-too happy, they still ended with a better ending than most examples here.)
9th Aug '15 2:28:41 PM Thereisnodana
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**** And then there's Chava and Fyedka, who are on their way to Krakow.

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**** And then there's As are Chava and Fyedka, who are on their way to Krakow.
24th Jul '15 4:25:36 PM nombretomado
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* ''MerrilyWeRollAlong'', being BackToFront, has a Downer Ending in the beginning, where it's played for dark humor. Coincidentally (?), it's also a StephenSondheim musical.

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* ''MerrilyWeRollAlong'', ''Theatre/MerrilyWeRollAlong'', being BackToFront, has a Downer Ending in the beginning, where it's played for dark humor. Coincidentally (?), it's also a StephenSondheim musical.
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