Tag Archives: calvinism

In Search of Tragedy

If They Come To It
Yup, young men will do’t, if they come to’t; / By cock, they are to blame.
[Warning: today’s captions may contain gratuitous quotation]

There is a special kind of feeling which certain stories can provoke. It is a kind of nausea, a sick feeling in the pit of the stomach, combined with a tightening in the chest and tearfulness (though actual tears are not required).

I’m writing here about tragedy, tragedy not in the strict or the loose sense of the term. The strict definition of tragedy is a thorny question which need not concern us. The loose idea of tragedy (‘tragic equals sad’) is inadequate for my purposes: there are many sad things which are not tragic (why, Key, fancy meeting you and your Keych├ęs in this paragraph).

For the purposes of this entry, tragedy portrays the suffering of a character who is neither good nor bad, often through a mistake on their part. Tragedy provokes cleansing pity and fear. I should at this point give the customary spoiler warning (for School Days and Code Geass), and also point out that this post contains two bloody images which may disturb readers of a sensitive disposition. Continue reading

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