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1[[quoteright:211:]]²²->''Tragedy!\²When the feeling's gone and you can't go on\²It's tragedy!\²When the morning cries and you don't know why\²It's hard to bear!\²With no one to love you\²You're going nowhere!''²-->-- '''Music/TheBeeGees''', "Tragedy" ([[CoveredUp or, for younger, British Tropers, "Steps"]])²²In a sentence, you could say that Tragedy concerns itself with the [[FallenHero fall]] of a [[TheProtagonist protagonist]] due to [[TragicMistake their own mistakes]] and/or [[FatalFlaw flaws]].²²As a genre, tragedy is OlderThanFeudalism. It has changed quite a bit since its conception in ancient Greece, and nowadays is a dying genre... how tragic! Soon it will be just as dead as {{Irony}}.²²As you can guess from the above facetiousness, Tragedy is also as clingy as Irony and as difficult to define and apply. It's not enough to be on [[SlidingScaleOfIdealismVsCynicism the deeply cynical end]] and have a [[TwistEnding Twist]] or DownerEnding with plenty of {{Drama}} and [[TrueArtIsAngsty artsy angst]] along the way, or have the hero's [[TooHappyToLive happy home life destroyed]] with a [[RapeAsDrama girlfriend raped]] and [[CynicismCatalyst a dead little sister]]; it has to be of an epic scope with inexorable and self-inflicted pain brought about for past sins. And, despite all that, it also has to give the viewer closure.²²This last one is perhaps the hardest to capture correctly. After all is said and done, the audience should not feel impotent rage, [[FanonDisContinuity denial]], confusion, or [[DeusAngstMachina having been cheated]]. They should feel that the ending is a natural outcome to the hero's actions, and that in having faced punishment for those actions they [the audience] are purged of anxiety and worry. The world ''does'' make sense, the guilty ''[[KarmaHoudini are]]'' punished.²²'''Creator/{{Aristotle}}'s guidelines form the basis of Tragedy, as outlined in ''Literature/{{Poetics}}''; here they are much abbreviated:'''²²* Have a hero of great status and prosperity (which is why many tragic main characters are nobles or royalty), who suffers a terrible fall, usually death.²* The fall is brought on by his own FatalFlaw and [[WhatTheHellHero past mistakes]]. His character should be [[StaticCharacter consistent and unchanging]] to make his fall inevitable, such as being {{Pride}}ful or stubborn, or so good and persistent such that fixing his mistakes destroys him.²* The audience has to feel [[EmotionalTorque catharsis]] at his death, an emotional "purging" where the audience should feel relief and cleansing. Whether this catharsis is due to the [[SadistShow schadenfreude]], relief at having it better off than the character, or generally releasing pent-up anxiety is debated to this day.²* While you do not ''need'' TheReveal and reversal of fortune stemming from it, Aristotle considered those tragedies superior to those without it.²²To borrow a simplifying example from ''Theatre/EducatingRita'', ''Theatre/{{Macbeth}}'' is generally considered a tragedy in literary terms because, throughout the play, Macbeth is warned time and time again by numerous parties (including the universe itself) that his actions will bring nothing but doom and misery upon himself and his family, but, because he is blinded by his greed and ambition, he ignores these warnings and proceeds regardless until it is much too late. In other words, Macbeth's terrible fate ''could'' have been avoided but is ultimately inevitable because his own character flaws have made it so. On the other hand, a man who suddenly and unexpectedly gets hit and killed by a falling tree while going about his daily business ''isn't'' usually considered a tragedy in the literary sense (although his loved ones will likely find it a tragedy in a personal sense), because the man's fate isn't preordained or a result of his own character flaws; if he'd known that being at that precise spot at that precise moment in advance would have killed him, he'd have likely chosen to take a different route. In the first example, the main character cannot escape his fate due to the circumstances he exists in and his own flaws, while, in the second, the main character's fate would have been entirely avoidable and likely avoided had he known about it in advance. ²²(On the other hand, "tragedy" in Greek times did not need to be soul-crushingly pessimistic and have a DownerEnding; Aristotle thought the best tragic plot had TheReveal in time for him to refrain and therefore not have the downfall. In fact, the opposite of a tragedy originally was not a comedy, but rather an epic. Whereas an epic typically unfolds and "opens up" to a world of unknown horrors and delights for the hero to explore, a tragedy "closes down" on the hero, prohibiting him from anything else he may think to try until at the climax of the story he is forced into one all-important decision on which everything good or bad that may follow ultimately hinges. The story of Oedipus is a tragedy in this sense not because its ending is so horrible, but because every hope Oedipus had for escaping his cruel fate was ultimately thwarted, and because everything ultimately hinges on what he decides to do when the AwfulTruth is finally made known to him. Other tragedies from the time might present a better decision to the hero, and might end well if he chooses wisely. Eventually, however, the meaning of the term shifted; such a potentially HappyEnding precludes a work's being a tragedy nowadays.)²²To [[SubvertedTrope subvert]] a tragedy is complex. It's not enough to try for ''GrandGuignol'' and stuff it up with {{Satire}} and [[BlackComedy dead babies]], tack on a happy ending, or pull on heartstrings with [[TooGoodForThisSinfulEarth dead babies]]. To subvert tragedy for real, you have to get into the cycle of [[EmotionalTorque catharsis]] and break one of the literary elements of greatness, [[{{Pride}} hubris]], [[FallenHero downfall]], or change, which is easier said than done; even the great Creator/ArthurMiller couldn't really do it (by his own admission, ''Theatre/DeathOfASalesman'', while excellent, nonetheless failed in subverting the greatness element of the tragic form). Or, just make it a {{Comedy}}, which is basically the whole thing PlayedForLaughs. Though that's not really a subversion, just an interesting detail about comedy. ²²Common tragedies are: Greek Tragedy, Shakespearean Tragedy, and the more recent Bourgeois Tragedy. Tragedy is directly opposed to {{Comedy}}.²²'''A typical Tragedy includes:'''²[[index]]²* BeingGoodSucks: The protagonist usually is trying to live like a good man, but past mistakes mean they have some heavy atoning to do that they can not dodge.²* DespairEventHorizon: The moment when it's already too late.²* DisproportionateRetribution: According to Aristotle, the protagonist must be punished for an error, but with the punishment spectacularly exceeding the crime.²* DoomedProtagonist: In this case, their own FatalFlaw is what brings about their inevitable demise.²* DownerEnding: Tragedies never end well for the protagonist.²** TheBadGuyWins: Sub-trope of DownerEnding in which the hero loses and only the villain(s) come out on top.²*** Averted with Creator/{{Aeschylus}}'s ''Theatre/{{Eumenides}}'', which does have a happy ending. Aeschylus's ''Theatre/TheSuppliants'' likewise ends with the titular characters being granted what they wanted, namely sanctuary, but since there's going to be a war and it was the first part of a trilogy, it's an ambiguous one.²* DramaticIrony: The audience often knows crucial information that our protagonist does not.²* FallenHero: If they survive.²* FatalFlaw: A key part of many tragic heroes, which leads them to commit their [[/index]]TragicMistake. {{Pride}} has been one of the most common since the Greeks.[[index]] ²* {{Foreshadowing}}: You know what they say about trusting too much in prophecies? Well, foreshadowing can be thought of as one...²* HeelFaceDoorSlam: If the protagonist does notice his flaws, it's already too late.²* TheHeroDies: The protagonists in their plays were usually killed off in the end.²** Averted with Creator/{{Sophocles}}'s ''Theatre/OedipusTheKing'', in which Oedipus doesn't die. In the same playwright's ''Theatre/{{Antigone}}'', there's some ambiguity about who the protagonist actually is: basically, the confusion comes from the misconception that the hero of a play is identical with its protagonist.[[note]]The hero of ''Antigone'' is Antigone herself, who dies, but the main protagonist is Creon, who is a VillainProtagonist and doesn't.[[/note]]²* NiceJobBreakingItHero: Seriously, if the protagonists thought out their actions before attempting their heroism, then the situation wouldn't have gotten worse.²* ProtagonistJourneyToVillain: While the protagonist started out noble, only too late do they realize that they've gradually made the transition to becoming the villain of their own story.²* SelfFulfillingProphecy: Many tragic heroes unwittingly bring about the very events that they were trying to avert.²* StarCrossedLovers: Many tragic romances involve two people who want to be together but are doomed to be kept apart.²* ATragedyOfImpulsiveness: Like NiceJobBreakingItHero, if the protagonists had thought things through before they acted, the tragedy could have been avoided.²* TragicDream: Oh, dear. Without that nagging dream driving them, the protagonists wouldn't have driven themselves and/or other characters into the ground.²* TragicHero: Frequently combined with heroic archetypes like [[/index]]KnightInShiningArmor.[[index]]²* TragicMistake: Often called the ''hamartia'', this is that one crucial mistake that sends everything crashing down.²* TragicVillain: A villain who isn't meant to be a villain after all.²* TwistEnding: Surprise! It failed! Or, whatever the protagonists did, or even why they did it, was rendered utterly pointless. Or, it worked; but screwed something ''else'' up in some other, unforeseen way. Anyway, it's ended, whatever it was.²* WhatTheHellHero: The hero's tragic flaw often leads him to do rather... unheroic things.²* YouCantFightFate: A fairly common theme.²[[/index]]²²Greek tragedy in general is the TropeNamer for DeusExMachina.²²'''When adding examples, please remember that just because a work is dark and "tragic", it is not necessarily a tragedy. Tragedies need to be about a character being destroyed by their own character flaws and mistakes.'''²----²!!Examples:²²[[foldercontrol]]²²[[folder:Anime and Manga]]²* ''Anime/RingingBell'' is of the classic revenge variety, in which the protagonist's desire to avenge his mother's murder winds up ruining him: becoming a monster that is not wolf nor sheep, being shunned by his sheep brethren because of this, killing his mentor/father figure-- who was ''also'' his mother's murderer-- and DyingAlone.²* ''Anime/CodeGeass'' has some Tragedy moments too. The first season's ending ([[spoiler:him abandoning the Black Knights during their invasion and thus causing their defeat]]) due to main character's mistakes and his reliance on his MoralityChain. And the second season's ending ([[spoiler:his own death, as the price to give the world peace but with none knowing for how long]]) due to his mistakes [[spoiler:after losing his MoralityChain twice, at first due to her apparent death and then due to him having to go against her]].²* ''Manga/DeathNote'' is a classic tragedy if one simplifies the story to its essentials. The protagonst Light Yagami is someone of high social standing, and is a significant individual in that he is greater than most others. However, he has a flaw in that he's too proud. Because of this and the tragic coincidence that leads him to the Death Note, he enjoys some time of greatness, but in the end he [[spoiler: falls from grace and is killed because of his mistakes and flaws.]]²** Even interpreting it the other way, it can still be viewed as a tragedy. Even with the ultimate villain (Light) finally dying in the end, he still ultimately succeeded in killing almost all the heroes and protagonists and manipulating and using so many people before it happened.²* A lot of the individual [[StoryArc arcs]] of ''VisualNovel/HigurashiWhenTheyCry'' fit the definition of a tragedy, with the {{Downer Ending}}s often being due to the actions of one of the main characters, and the FatalFlaw that causes it often being paranoia and lack of trust in their friends.²* ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'' , the subject of endless Ph.D theses to this day. A cast of characters, [[DysfunctionJunction with deep psychological flaws they can't communicate]], are brought to the brink of ruin, but they're all so unable to overcome their personal demons and shadows, that they ultimately pay the price for it. Though the actual scale of the price paid is rather...[[TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt extreme]].²* ''Anime/WeissKreuz'' is a tragedy, set in a world of hell - implied by Hidaka Ken - where villains are free to get what they want at the expense of the innocent lives, and without getting punished by laws. The heroes, Weiss, are themselves bloody, murderous monsters as well, and are determined to live a life full of guilt in order to provide the innocent better tomorrows.²* ''Anime/GraveOfTheFireflies'' is a tragedy written to not only reflect the cruelty of war, but also reflect the author's guilt for not being able to save his own sister from starvation due to his {{pride}}.²* BoysLoveGenre ''LightNovel/AiNoKusabi'' has a tragic ending which is either a BittersweetEnding or a DownerEnding depending on the viewer. Regardless, [[spoiler: Riki and Iason died for their forbidden love at the end.]]²* ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica'' fits this to a T. Every main character is brought down as a result of their own flaws. Their mistakes are made with the best of intentions. Any diversion away from their fates would require outside intervention. Also worth noting is [[spoiler: a couple of the characters do realize their mistake in time to do something, but only at the cost of their lives.]]²* The Golden Age Arc of ''{{Manga/Berserk}}'' is very much a tragedy. Two of the prevailing themes of the story is how one fateful decision [[YouCantFightFate can turn the tides of destiny with horrible consequences]] and how the love that the three main characters have for one another [[LoveHurts can potentially cause more pain than happiness.]] ²* ''Manga/TokyoGhoul'' makes it explicitly clear from the very first chapter that it is going to be a Tragedy. Still, many were surprised when the original series concluded with a DownerEnding where TheBadGuyWins, leaving the majority of the cast either scattered to the wind or [[UncertainDoom missing]]. From the beginning, Ken Kaneki describes himself as the protagonist of a Tragedy and it proves to be a self-fulfilling prophecy. His decision to recklessly seek power while claiming to need it to protect everyone destroys his sanity, alienates him from the very people he swore to protect, causes his LoveInterest to reject him with an epic ReasonYouSuckSpeech, and ends with him not only losing control of his SuperpoweredEvilSide but unable to save anyone. He's finally forced to confront the truth of his actions, realizing he was selfish and motivated by the fear of being alone. On the bright side, the sequel ''Tokyo Ghoul:Re'' is described as "the birth of a Legend" as opposed to a Tragedy and [[spoiler: gives him a second chance as AmnesiacHero Haise Sasaki]].²* ''LightNovel/FateZero'' doesn't have complete closure due to being a prequel to the earlier VisualNovel/FateStayNight (which does provide a proper conclusion to the consequences of ''Zero''), but is a spectacular tragedy in and of itself, and one that fans of the Nasuverse ''know'' [[ForegoneConclusion didn't end well]]. It is filled to the brim with GreyAndGreyMorality, with the Masters either being in the fight for at least arguably selfish reasons (Tokiomi, Kayneth, Waver, Kirei), have genuinely good intentions but will do incredibly questionable things to achieve their goals (Kiritsugu, Kariya) or are just plain evil (Ryuunosuke, [[spoiler:Kirei later on]]). The Servants either have little choice in the whole matter or are no better than the Masters. And by the end, it gets ''ugly''. The only Master who doesn't end up dead, in despair or evil at the end is the one who actually grew positively as a person. [[spoiler:That person is Waver, who managed to get away with a happy ending. The only other two masters who survive are Kiritsugu, who is arguably the main human protagonist, and Kirei, who ends up being the end villain alongside Gilgamesh. Ryuunosuke is shot dead, Kayneth is also shot dead alongside his fiancee (even after sacrificing his own Servant for their lives), Tokiomi is stabbed in the back by Kirei, and despite his best efforts, poor Kariya also dies, only deepening Sakura's despair. Kiritsugu, despite surviving, ends up a broken man as all his sacrifices end up being for nothing, and his dream forever out of his reach.]] The only silver lining is [[spoiler:Shirou Emiya being saved from the fire by Kiritsugu, and later vowing to take up his adoptive father's dream of becoming a hero.]] That silver lining is the direct catalyst for its sequel bringing the tragedy to its final closure in the sequel.²[[/folder]]²²[[folder:Comic Books]]²* Neil Gaiman's ''ComicBook/TheSandman'' was a five-year tragedy, carefully crafted in the Greek tradition of {{Tragedy}}.²* Creator/AlejandroJodorowsky's seminal ''ComicBook/TheMetabarons''.²[[/folder]]²²[[folder:Film]]²* The ''Franchise/StarWars'' prequel trilogy, particularly Episode III ''Film/RevengeOfTheSith'' is a modern mainstream example. In Episode I Anakin Skywalker's potential is identified as a young age, and it is speculated he may be TheChosenOne who will bring balance to the force. However, Yoda also foresees Anakin's fatal flaw, which is that he dreads and will do anything to prevent losing those he loves no matter what the consequences. This is first evident in Episode II with his premonition of his mother's death. Then in Episode III they stronger when he has nightmares of his wife Padmé dying. Anakin turns to TheDarkSide out of desperation to change the fate that Yoda counsels him he cannot avoid, but by destroying everything he ever loved with his own hands he makes it a self-fulfilling prophecy.²** As a whole, the entire Star Wars saga (the prequel trilogy, original trilogy, and new trilogy) is an [[TheEpic epic]] [[GenerationalSaga generational]] tragedy, at least in regards to the Skywalker family. The prequels have Anakin Skywalker start out as a promising young Jedi Knight (as well the ChosenOne), who eventually turns to the Dark Side due to his fear of losing Padme, his growing discontent with the Jedi Council, and his manipulation at the hands of Palpatine/Darth Sideous. He dismantles the Jedi Order and ushers in an era of darkness and tyranny throughout the entire galaxy by helping Darth Sideous form the Empire. The original trilogy revolves around his son Luke Skywalker defeating said Empire and redeeming him shortly before his death. In the sequel trilogy [[spoiler: it's revealed that Kylo Ren is actually Ben Solo, the son of Anakin's daughter Leia Organa and Han Solo, and that [[HistoryRepeats much like his grandfather Anakin]], he trained as a Jedi but eventually fell victim to the Dark Side and helped establish the First Order, a dictatorship much like the Empire. Ben is partially driven by a desire to live up to the dark legacy his grandfather left behind, and a desire to prove himself to his master Supreme Leader Snoke by severing all remaining emotional ties, including his parents. Despite this, there is still some remaining light inside of him, as seen by the guilt he feels after killing his father, and his inability to go through with killing his mother. Luke Skywalker tried and failed to bring back the Jedi Order after the events of the original trilogy, and exiles himself to a distant island, [[DespairEventHorizon having lost all hope]] after his nephew and former student Ben Solo pulled a FaceHeelTurn and murdered half of his students while taking the rest with him. Ben's FaceHeelTurn officially started when Luke, in a moment of weakness, contemplated killing him once he realized just how great his potential for evil was. By the end of [[Film/TheLastJedi Episode VIII]], Luke passes away while [[CallBack gazing peacefully at a twilight sky with two moons]], using the last of his strength to buy time for the Resistance (led by his sister Leia) and confront Kylo Ren. It remains to be seen whether or not Ben Solo will redeem himself, or if the Skywalker line will continue or die out]].²** ''Film/RogueOne'' tells the tragedy of the Erso family. The story begins with the Empire finding research scientist Galen Erso and his family after they've gone into hiding, killing his wife Lyra and forcing him to complete the world-destroying Death Star. His daughter Jyn Erso manages to escape, and spends most of her life on the streets as a criminal, but is recruited by the Rebel Alliance in it's early stages to retrieve the Death Star plans. Galen makes up for his part in building the Death Star, and Jyn helps secure a victory instrumental in getting a leg up on the Empire, [[spoiler: but she and her father end up dying by film's end, marking the end of the Erso line as a whole]], and it doesn't stop the Empire from destroying at least one planet [[Film/StarWarsANewHope later down the line]]. [[spoiler: Making it even worse is that both deaths are a demonstration of cruel irony. Galen is wounded by an attack from the Rebel Alliance, who he's been working to protect this whole time, and Jyn is vaporized by the Death Star, the very weapon her father was forced to make, and he only did it so the Empire wouldn't hurt her]]. The film is also a tragedy in a more general sense in that [[spoiler: [[KillEmAll all the main protagonists are dead by the end of it]], having [[HeroicSacrifice sacrificed their lives for the good of the galaxy]]. Though their sacrifices are the catalyst for Episode IV, and their deaths are a ForegoneConclusion, so it's a BittersweetEnding with particular emphasis on the bitter]].²* Creator/AkiraKurosawa's film ''Film/{{Ran}}'', being ''Theatre/KingLear'' [[RecycledINSPACE IN SENGOKU-ERA JAPAN!]], does tragedy to a T.²* In ''Film/RequiemForADream'', all of the main characters succumb to their [[DrugsAreBad addictions]]. [[spoiler: Harry's arm is infected by repeated use of the needle and he has to have it amputated, Tyrone gets thrown in jail for dealing drugs, Marion becomes a crack whore to support her drug habit and Sara gets reduced to a living wreck due to the combined effect of the weight-loss drugs and the electroshock therapy administered to kick the habit.]]²* ''Film/AmericanHistoryX'' seems to avert this until the literal ChekhovsGunman returns.²* ''Film/TheGodfather'' saga is another example of classical mafia tragedy. Michael Corleone's ruthlessness and vengeful ways eventually lead to his alienation from his family and his ultimate ruin.²* Similarly to the film above, Film/Scarface1983 stars Creator/AlPacino as a ruthless, albeit sympathetic gangster, whose own flaws eventually lead to the destruction of his criminal empire and everyone he ever cared about ending up either dead or hating his guts, as well as his own death at the hands of someone he screwed over.²* ''[[Film/{{Gojira}} Godzilla]]'' is a tragedy in a form of a {{Kaiju}} {{Horror}} film. While it does focus on the tragedy of the human characters, alas, ''Godzilla himself'' is revealed to be a TragicMonster, having his powers given to him by circumstances beyond his control. And he and TheHero die at the very end. ²* ''Film/{{Chronicle}}'' fits the tragic mold almost exactly, as it is the protagonist's [[spoiler:hostility and hubris that leads to his downfall and death.]]²* ''Film/{{Chinatown}}'' While technically Neo-Noir is known for its tragic endings, [[spoiler:it's all Jake Gittes' fault, for trying to do the right thing.]]²* The central character of ''Film/CitizenKane'' ends up dying alone and unloved thanks to his narcissism.²* ''Film/SympathyForMrVengeance''²* The fifth ''Franchise/{{Hellraiser}}'' movie ''Film/HellraiserInferno'' is one of the few examples crossing over with {{Horror}}. Fundamentally it is the story of a man who receives unimaginable punishment due to his own sins and his abuse of everyone around him.²* The French films ''Film/JeanDeFlorette'' and it's sequel ''Film/ManonDesSources''.²* ''Film/OneHourPhoto''²* ''Film/LawrenceOfArabia'': The first half of the movie is a towering epic, filled with stunning desert shots and the heroism of T. E. Lawrence, a man who can do the impossible and for whom [[ArcWords nothing is written]]! The second half shows Lawrence's ego and overconfidence costing him [[BreakTheCutie everything]] [[BloodKnight but]] [[RapeAsDrama his]] [[LoveHurts life]].²[[/folder]]²²[[folder:Literature]]²* Ian [=McEwan=]'s ''{{Literature/Atonement}}'' follows a privileged upper class preteen called Briony Tallis. She essentially ruins several people's lives because of her arrogance and ignorance. Years later, when she finally realizes the full extent of what she's done, [[spoiler: it's too late to make amends or fix her mistakes, because the affected parties have died partly due to her actions]].²* Tolkien's ''Literature/TheChildrenOfHurin'' is a textbook example: Half of Túrin's problems come from him being impulsive, letting his anger cloud his judgement, and his unwillingness to swallow his pride and listen to advice. The other half comes from Morgoth himself being out to get him. In the end, all of Túrin's plans fail, he ends up either killing or leading all his friends to his deaths, and finally kills himself, having achieved nothing but destruction.²* Almost anything by Creator/JohnSteinbeck.²* Creator/ChinuaAchebe's ''Literature/ThingsFallApart'' was imagined from the very beginning as a classical tragedy. The hero, Okonkwo, is a strong and prosperous man in his Igbo village, with big fields of big yams and a big, well-maintained compound and three wives. He is very proud of his achievements and of his manliness--but his manliness and pride cause him to act rashly, eventually getting him exiled for manslaughter (when his FiringInTheAirALot kills someone), lead his son to abandon him, and ultimately causes his suicide.²* Pretty much any retelling of the KingArthur myth is this [[ForegoneConclusion by default]]. ''Literature/LeMorteDarthur'' and ''Literature/TheOnceAndFutureKing'' are probably the best examples.²* Several of Creator/ThomasHardy's novels are borderline examples, but ''Literature/TheMayorOfCasterbridge'' unquestionably qualifies, to the extent that it's been read as a reworking of Aristotle's principles in nineteenth-century rural England. The novel begins with Michael Henchard selling his wife and child in a drunken rage, after which he [[TheAtoner gives up drinking and manages to turn his life around for a few years]]. Ultimately, though, his [[FatalFlaw pride and quick temper]] cause him to lose everyone he cares about, and he dies alone. ²* ''Literature/ThePrimeOfMissJeanBrodie'' qualifies when [[AnachronicOrder the events are arranged chronologically]] (the stage and film adaptations change things to a more linear structure). The protagonist is a respected teacher at a conservative school with her own special club of girls she motivates. Although the headmistress tries to dismiss her, Jean Brodie is almost untouchable. She also has two men pining after her. But, due to her own arrogance and desire to teach what she wants, she ends up wrecking her students' lives - she grooms one girl to have an affair with a teacher, one ends up running off to Spain and dying in the Civil War, and another eventually dies in a fire because she's too emotionally stunted from the bullying she received. Jean's faithful pupil Sandy eventually betrays her and she ends up dismissed, and her two suitors end up with other women - fed up of her mind games.²[[/folder]]²²[[folder:Live-Action TV]]²* ''Series/BreakingBad'' has practically become the [[TropeCodifier modern codifier]]. It started off as more of a BlackComedy. But as the stakes got higher and higher and [[VillainProtagonist Walter]] became more ruthless and [[ProtagonistJourneyToVillain lost more of his humanity by the episode]] due to numerous {{Fatal Flaw}}s, primarily his massive {{Pride}}, it changed into this. Many literary and television critics have even gone so far as to call it ''THE'' modern Shakespearean tragedy.²* ''Series/HouseOfCardsUS'' features [[TheCorruptible Peter Russo]], a Democratic Congressman from Pennsylvania, in a story that has the elements of a tragedy. He is a man of status with the potential for greatness, and genuinely wants to take care of his constituents, his girlfriend, and his kids. However, his fatal weakness for [[TheAlcoholic alcohol]], [[HookersAndBlow women, and drugs]] enables [[VillainProtagonist Francis Underwood]] to manipulate him into [[ForcedIntoEvil compromising his principles]] while serving as his [[UnwittingPawn pawn]]. [[spoiler: Once Peter is [[YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness no longer useful]] to him, Francis orchestrates the [[OffTheWagon fall from the wagon]] that destroys both his career and private life and then kills him as a cruel form of "mercy" while he wallows in [[DespairEventHorizon despair]].]]²* ''Series/SpeerUndEr'': The whole miniseries depicts Speer's life like this: an ambitious man whose overbearing pride and desire to see his architectural dreams realized drove him to employ his abilities in the service of evil, later resulting in his own fall from grace.²* ''Series/SteptoeAndSon'' sees working class rag-and-bone men Albert Steptoe and his son Harold plying a dying trade in 1960s and '70s London, with Harold's attempts to break away from his life continually thwarted.²[[/folder]]²²[[folder:Music]]²* WASP's rock opera ''Music/TheCrimsonIdol'' qualifies due to the protagonist's desire to return to his parents' good graces - after they heartlessly disowned him - leads to a long trail of self-destruction fueled by drugs and hollow fame, culminating in his suicide.²[[/folder]]²²[[folder:Theatre]]²* Creator/WilliamShakespeare wrote quite a few: ''Theatre/{{Macbeth}}'', ''Theatre/{{Hamlet}}'', ''Theatre/{{Othello}}'', ''Theatre/KingLear'', and ''Theatre/TitusAndronicus'' (just to name a few). ''Theatre/RomeoAndJuliet'', though commonly labeled as one, isn't actually a tragedy per se, as the ultimate unhappy ending comes as a result of bad luck. It is often classified a tragicomedy or a problem play, because, while it has a tragic conclusion and the title characters' youthful impulsiveness contributes to their demise, it more closely follows the comedic form.²* A textbook classical tragedy would be ''Theatre/OedipusTheKing''. The hero, Oedipus (of the famous [[OedipusComplex complex]], though he does not necessarily possess it), is a heroic[[note]]when used by the Greeks, "heroic" does not describe a character's morality but rather their PowerLevels. Anyone demi-human, transhuman or superhuman was a "hero"--Medusa, for instance.[[/note]] and generally admirable man who ruled Thebes wisely. However, it is struck by a strange drought that no one can explain. Sages say that [[FisherKing since the land and king are one]], the king has done something to poison the land, and [[ProphecyTwist only he]] can [[FigureItOutYourself ferret out that mistake]]. Despite warnings from sages and wise men that Oedipus [[YouDoNotWantToKnow won't like what he discovers]], he learns that the previous king heard a [[SelfFulfillingProphecy prophecy]] that his son would kill him and marry his mother, so the king had his son [[NoOneCouldSurviveThat bound and abandoned in a forest]] and he went into hiding to avoid being killed. However, the son survived and killed him unrecognized for cutting him off in traffic, and afterward killed the Sphinx [[RiddleOfTheSphinx (of the riddles)]] and was rewarded with the kingship of Thebes, including the widowed queen. [[DramaticPause ...]] [[{{Squick}} Yep.]] His mother-wife commits suicide in shame, and he blinds himself in sorrow.²** ''Theatre/{{Antigone}}'': The children of Oedipus and Jocaste didn't fare much better.²* ''Theatre/TheOresteia'', a dramatic trilogy by Creator/{{Aeschylus}}, consisting of ''Theatre/{{Agamemnon}}'', ''[[Theatre/TheLibationBearers Choephoroi]]'' and ''Theatre/{{Eumenides}}'') and ''Theatre/{{Electra}}'' are classic (indeed quite literally) tragedies. The theme of fatal flaws and dramatic irony is applied to heroic men, such as Agamemnon and Orestes, but also to the house of Atreus as a whole. Apparently the Oresteia is also one of the first examples of NightmareFuel as during the premiere of the play the haunting song of the furies caused a pregnant woman to promptly miscarry and die in the process. One could probably write a tragedy about that too.²* Many classical {{revenge}} stories, such as the above-mentioned ''Theatre/{{Hamlet}}'', were tragedies. The avenger usually succeeded in destroying the villain responsible for whatever awful crime set him on his vendetta, [[PyrrhicVictory but he all too often destroyed himself and/or everything he cared about in the process]]. See also the Nietzschean concept of "HeWhoFightsMonsters".²* In recent hindsight, ''Theatre/LittleShopOfHorrors'' also qualifies due to having several motifs of the Greek tragedy archetype - the singers Crystal, Chiffon, and Ornette representing the classic Greek chorus, and Seymour's arc mirrors that of several tragic Greek protagonists - to achieve his dreams, he first sacrifices his enemy Orin Scrivello), then his father figure (Mr. Mushnik), then his love (Audrey) - and finally, when everything starts crashing down around him, himself.²* ''Moira'' is what happens when Music/SoundHorizon decides that classical Greek tragedy would make for one hell of a SymphonicMetal RockOpera.²* ''Theatre/MissSaigon'', a SettingUpdate of Puccini's ''Theatre/MadameButterfly''; most of his other works were tragic as well.²* Neil [=LaBute=]'s ''{{Theatre/Bash}}'' is a SettingUpdate of three Greek tragedies, examining how everyday people are capable of committing great evil just to save themselves.²[[/folder]]²²[[folder:Tabletop Games]]²* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' is marinated in this, particularly as the Horus Heresy became more fleshed-out. The setting's gradual in-universe descent into the shitter is punctuated with people making bad decisions based on their flaws that end up coming back to bite them catastrophically, usually with the assistance of one of the setting's fascinating variety of evil gods. The Necrontyr's resentment of the Old Ones' longer lifespans was used by the C'tan to trick the Necrontyr into becoming the zombie-robot Necrons. The Eldar empire descended into excess and wouldn't back away despite warnings, leading to it basically orgying a Chaos God into existence and turning the heart of the Eldar empire into the Eye of Terror. The Horus Heresy saw a lot of mini-tragedies as half the Primarchs succumbed to their failings and fell to Chaos, all set against the backdrop of one big tragedy as the Emperor's egotism and separation for humanity led him to alienate the nine sons who would turn on him and eventually kill him. In particular, Magnus the Red is portrayed as having gone through an arc not too dissimilar from a classical tragedy: his arrogance led to him assuming he knew better than everyone else about the Warp and how to use it, starting a chain of events that ended with Magnus's dessicated homeworld burned to black glass and a significant chunk of his Legion killed in the engagement.²[[/folder]]²²[[folder:Videogames]]²* ''VideoGame/MafiaII'' follows two best friends who join the mob and get involved in the criminal underworld.²* ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaLordsOfShadow'', the story of a ByronicHero fated to go down to the path of darkness, only trying to save his childhood sweetheart from death and never succeeding - and his offsprings, fated to fight against him himself.²* ''VideoGame/GodOfWar'' has tragic elements, at least in Kratos' backstory.²* While ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight'' isn't itself a tragedy like [[LightNovel/FateZero its prequel]] mentioned above, many of the heroic spirits have a backstory in their previous life that definitely falls into this category.²** Archer's entire backstory is just one big tragedy, having once been the [[spoiler: incredibly idealistic protagonist before his ideals betrayed him.]] ²** Saber's backstory mirrors many of the same failures as Archers, [[{{Foil}} but in a different context]]. Whereas Archer dedicated too much of his life trying to [[spoiler:be the ideal hero of his dreams that saves everybody]], Saber, during her life as [[spoiler:King Arthur]], dedicated too much of her life into trying to be the perfect ruler. To her, this meant that she should abandon all emotions and that she shouldn't even be considered a human because she saw these characteristics as hindrance to her rule. In the end, she accomplished her goal of being the perfect ruler, but she completely failed as a human being and her subjects rebelled against her not because she was a tyrant, but because nobody wanted to follow someone as emotionless and inhuman as her. Saber spends large part of the Fate route convinced that she was a poor ruler [[spoiler:and wishing that she could remove herself from power in the past by using the power of the grail. However after spending time with Shirou, Saber ultimately comes to understand that nobody could have ruled the country better than she did and it was doomed from the start.]]²* ''VideoGame/SpecOpsTheLine'' is a classic tragedy, and it stands out due to drawing comparisons between the protagonist and the player as the story unfolds.² [[/folder]]²²[[folder:Web Originals]]²* ''WebVideo/DoctorHorriblesSingAlongBlog'': Billy's obsession with being accepted, catalysed by the antagonism of [[{{Foil}} Captain Hammer]], leads to [[spoiler:him losing the only person he really ''wanted'' to accept him]].²[[/folder]]²²!!Subversions:²²[[folder:Anime and Manga]]²* ''Anime/PrincessTutu'' is [[{{Postmodernism}} postmodern in nature]], but none of the characters are familiar with postmodernist conventions, instead believing that they're living through a classic tragedy. Much of the story's conflict comes from characters trying to find ways to fulfill their goals without making the same mistakes that normally doom tragic heroes (or, in a few cases, giving up on goals that would lead to an unhappy ending.)²[[/folder]]²²[[folder:Film]]²* ''Film/HardCoreLogo'' is a variation on the Greek tragic formula, disguised as a BlackComedy and set in the Canadian punk scene rather than among the social elite. Joe Dick's arc fits the tragic hero model best, but really, the band is such a DysfunctionJunction that it's hard to pin the ensuing trainwreck on any single member's single major character flaw. ²[[/folder]]²²[[folder:Theatre]]²* Tom Stoppard's ''Theatre/RosencrantzAndGuildensternAreDead.'' Despite their flashes of GenreSavvy and occasional (dark) comedy, the ending features a complete lack of awareness on the character's part. The futility of their project is laid bare, they die accomplishing nothing except discover their names (and that's still iffy). The downfall being external (but necessary). The minor status of the ''protagonists'' to "incidental" characters like Theatre/{{Hamlet}}.²* Creator/BertoltBrecht's ''Theatre/MotherCourageAndHerChildren'', as well as ''Measures Taken''. Catharsis is withheld in order to demand revolutionary action from the audience.²* ''Theatre/WaitingForGodot'' is a low and existential tragedy.²* Arthur Miller's ''Theatre/DeathOfASalesman''. Willy Loman is a middle-class indebted salesman who delusionally believes that the right attitude and personality can spell success. This leads to disaster in his life and the lives of his children, especially Biff, and Willy Loman is never able to understand the cause of his misfortune and dies unaware. Miller subverts a classical tragedy by making a middle class man the subject of his play and making the protagonist never understand reality because of his blind spot at any point which ultimately [[spoiler: leads to his death]]. By his own admission, Miller didn't really make the subversion of tragedy work out, as Loman is kind of a pathetic figure.²[[/folder]]²²----


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