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Tragicomedies


  • Plays that combine elements of both tragedy and comedy.

  • URI(s)

  • Instance Of

  • Scheme Membership(s)

  • Collection Membership(s)

  • Form

    • Tragicomedies
  • Variants

    • Comical tragedies
    • Tragi-comedies
    • Tragic comedies
    • Tragical comedies
    • Tragicomic drama
  • Broader Terms

  • Related Terms

  • Closely Matching Concepts from Other Schemes

  • Sources

    • found: Baldick, C. The Oxford dictionary of literary terms, 2008(tragicomedy: A play that combines elements of tragedy and comedy, either by providing a happy ending to a potentially tragic story or by some more complex blending of serious and light moods. In its broadest sense, the term may be applied to almost any kind of drama that does not conform strictly to comic or tragic conventions--from the medieval mystery play to the epic theatre of Brecht--but it is associated more specifically with a dramatic tradition that emerged from Italy in the 16th century, notably in Battista Guarini's pastoral play Il Pastor Fido; the plays of Harold Pinter are often seen as tragicomic)
    • found: Cuddon, J.A. A dictionary of literary terms and literary theory, 1998(tragic-comedy: Euripides's Alcestis and Iphigenia (both tragedies) had happy endings; Aristotle made it clear in Poetics that audiences preferred the kind of endings where poetic justice was seen to be done; tragedies with happy endings; tragical comedies (or comical tragedies), which had serious main plots and comic sub-plots; by the end of the 16th c. these two kinds had drawn together and were more or less indistinguishable; Shakespeare also wrote tragic-comedies; with the demise of verse drama, dramatic tragic-comedy virtually disappeared, but occasionally a playwright has combined tragic and comic elements in such a way as to warrant his work being called tragic-comedy; distinctions between tragic-comedy, black comedy and what Jean Anouilh calls pieces noires and pieces grinçantes are difficult to make)
  • General Notes

    • Plays that combine elements of both tragedy and comedy.
  • Change Notes

    • 2014-12-01: new
    • 2015-12-22: revised
  • Alternate Formats

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