Classical Tragedy vs. Modern Tragedy

Everyone might have heard the word tragedy in his life.

Main Difference

People usually think “Tragedy” refers to any unpleasant event or trouble. This approach is somewhat true, but there is another shade of the word Tragedy which means a sort of drama or TV serial representing the terrible and sad events caused by ordinary human flaws.

This discussion will discuss the terms Classical Tragedy and Modern Tragedy. We will also discuss the significant differences between Classical and Modern Tragedy. So let us start:

What is Classical Tragedy?

Classical Tragedy is an effective form of Greek literature. Classical Tragedy is part of Greek literature since 500 BC. It is a genre-based drama that contains sad and terrible events from the daily life of human beings. Classical Tragedy is a source of catharsis for its audience. This mode of theater drama ironically presents horrible scenes. However, it is old but is still loved in society.

Features of Classical Tragedy

  • It is usually a one-character drama.
  • The protagonist belongs to a royal family.
  • Based on a unified plot.
  • Important impacts are hubris, hamartia, and catharsis.

What is Modern Tragedy?

The advanced form of Tragedy depicts the pictures of society’s problems instead of a hero’s story. Its era started at the beginning of twenty Century and is now an integral part of every drama industry. It works with more than one character, and the protagonist belongs to a middle or low-class family. This form of entertainment is a major source of relaxation and character-building for the people of the society.

Features of Modern Tragedy

  • It has more than one character.
  • A realistic picture of society
  • The protagonist belongs to a middle-class background.
  • Ironic and Sarcasm elements

Key Differences between Classical and Modern Tragedy

  1. Classical Tragedy has one character, while Modern Tragedy has more than one character.
  2. Classical Tragedy has elements such as catharsis and hamartia, while Modern Tragedy has ironic features.
  3. Classical Tragedy Protagonist, unlike Modern Tragedy, belongs to a royale or upper-class family.
  4. Former has a unified plot, while Later has multiple fields.
  5. In Classical Tragedy, Protagonist is a unique character, while Modern Tragedy has a protagonist who may be White, Black, or Gray.
  6. Classical Tragedy started in the 5th century BC, while Modern Tragedy started after the 20th

Comparison Table of Classical Tragedy vs. Modern Tragedy

Feature Classical Tragedy Modern Tragedy
Beginning 5th century BC 20th Century
No. of Characters one More than one
No. of plots One Multiple
Main Topic Ancient Greek stories Current matters of society


In a nutshell, we can see several differences between Classical and Modern Tragedy. They have different roles in the drama industry and criticize society’s shortcomings.

About James Smith

A freelance writer specializing in business, finance, and technology. He has studied these subjects and spends a lot of time developing content to assist explain complex content for the average individual.

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