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Historical Drama and the Dimensions of Tragedy

The English dramatists of the Renaissance did not conduct a strict distinction between the historical drama and tragedy. But still, there are some differences. To do this, we should refer to the history of these genres. Besides, the most vivid examples of the distinction between tragedy and historical drama and their similarities can best be seen in the example of the works of Shakespeare.

The tragedy occurred earlier than drama and was the leading genre in the ancient Greek theatre. Aeschylus and Sophocles were the first ever playwrights who wrote about the subjection of man to a blind destiny and the will of the gods. The emergence of the genre of drama is associated with the name of Euripides. In his works Euripides advanced human passions: greed, stupidity, envy, and passion. Originally, tragedies often ended with the death of one or several characters while the ending of the drama was not always so tragic and could stay open.

As mentioned above, the English dramaturgy did not make a clear distinction between historical drama and tragedy. First of all, because from the history English writers chose the most dramatic episodes, that were usually more or less tragic. In general, the history itself was the material for tragedies. Secondly, the theorists of the Renaissance drama believed that the worthy material for the tragedy could only be a historical person and majestic events. However, some researchers believe that there is some difference between the historical drama and tragedy. This idea is vividly illustrated by Shakespeare’s works. Thus, to the section of tragedies belong "Titus Andronicus", "Romeo and Juliet", "Julius Caesar", "Hamlet", "Othello", "King Lear", "Henry VI", "Richard III", "Macbeth", "Antony and Cleopatra", "Coriolanus", and others. The plot of other Shakespeare’s tragedies is based on historical personalities and events. In either chronicle or tragedy, the hero of Shakespeare’s historical dramas is not England, the state, or the time, but specific people. However, in the chronicles the personality still appears in his integrity, surrounded by all the complexities and contradictions of a relatively developed state and feudal society. In the chronicles, the main focus was given to the tragedy of the country, while in the Roman tragedies the foreground the tragedy was a personality.

On the basis of Shakespeare’s works, we can conclude that historical drama and tragedy often overlap; now highlighting the human tragedy and then the tragedy of the historical society.

The English dramatists of the Renaissance did not conduct a strict distinction between the historical drama and tragedy. But still, there are some differences. To do this, we should refer to the history of these genres. Besides, the most vivid examples of the distinction between tragedy and historical drama and their similarities can best be seen in the example of the works of Shakespeare.

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100001830
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CREATED ON
September 23, 2016
COMPLETED ON
September 24, 2016
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$16
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