• Comedy and tragedy : a history of theatre as a reflection of social identity

      O'Grady, Ryan (2020-05)
      In The Poetics, Aristotle outlines the origins and history of Greek theatrical performance to set up his analysis of Tragedy as the successor to the Epic poem...As such, Aristotle, although most likely unintentional, frames Comedy and Tragedy as two genres that share little to no similarities other than being forms of theatrical performance. I acknowledge the two genres possess many differences in terms of plot structure, staging and the audience's emotional response, but these differences do not make them inherently oppositional. In fact, my paper will hopefully show by analyzing how Tragedy and Comedy functioned during eras when the theatre was a central artform in society--Greece, Rome, Renaissance England, and the post-WWII Theatre of the Absurd--that not only do these two genres share many similarities as art forms, but they also share the same communal function by reinforcing the ideologies of the time period.