I remember growing up and thinking tragedy always involved death (as you do). Then I became older (wiser and the rest) and realised that the human race has so many tragic moments. I can talk about the mainstream events, the wars, poverty or famine; Then I can think about the hidden ones, issues hidden behind the door: lost generations, mental illness, the loss of self.
A tragedy is the loss of something valuable, often something which is not easily obtained. The (literature-style) definition is:
A form of drama based on human suffering that invokes in its audience an accompanying catharsis or pleasure in the viewing
Aristotle wrote in his work Poetics that tragedy is characterized by seriousness and involves a great person who experiences a reversal of fortune.
What I found interesting was the pleasure element to a tragedy. As humans there is some kind of self-reassurance in seeing (reading about or listening to) other people suffer (just look at competitive environments for instance, or think about those haterz). Personally I don’t dwell on tragedies, but I enjoy a story which can touch on tragic human states and show just how complex a person can be. A bonus involves a little comedy (why not lighten things up whilst your feeling low-as you do).
“The human race is unimportant. It is the self that must not be betrayed.”
“I suppose one could say that Hitler didn’t betray his self.”
“You are right. He did not. But millions of Germans did betray their selves. That was the tragedy. Not that one man had the courage to be evil. But that millions had not the courage to be good.”
― John Fowles, The Magus
“The life of every individual is really always a tragedy, but gone through in detail, it has the character of a comedy.”
― Arthur Schopenhauer
“Sometimes by holding onto what you love the most — you end up choking the very life from the thing you want to keep on living. It’s possible to try too hard, to love something so deeply that you lose yourself. The danger is never in loving someone — but losing your identity in the process. Because what happens when tragedy strikes? You’re left an empty shell. You’re left with nothing. ”
― Rachel Van Dyken, Toxic
“Life is a mystical and tragic thing. It is a journey often full of fear, when it ought to be full of hope. It’s fascinating to look back on your life and feel as though most of it was a precursor to the rest of it; to what was always supposed to be.”
― L.K. Hill, Citadels of Fire