Can Tragedy Live In Today’s World?

There was a time when tragedy meant something. Now it describes missteps of the most trivial nature. On the other hand – have critics elevated notions of classic tragedy too high? “It is the critics who have disdained modern life’s suitability for the tragic mode, and have made an aesthetic virtue out of suffering in the past, persuading themselves that what was horrible then can be metaphysically pleasing now and that present-day suffering is undignified and uninteresting. Past pain is thus sanitised while that of the present is dismissed as beneath attention – a useful strategy for those who have lived through the bloodiest century in human history and would prefer not to look at it too closely.”