University of Toronto
for the Shakespeare Association of America
San Francisco 1999
TRAGEDY: tragedie a solemne plaie
tragedie, (g) a solemne play, describing cruell murders and sorrowes
Tragedie: f. A Tragedie; a statelie Play whose conclusion is dolefull, and doubtfull.
TRAGEDY: Tragedie. A play or Historie ending with great sorrow and bloodshed.
TRAGEDY: Tragedie. A Play or Historie beginning very friendly, but ended with great slaughter of bloud.
TRAGEDY: Tragedie [ tragoedia ] is a lofty kinde of poetry, so called from , a goat, and , an ode or song; because the actors thereof had a goat given them as a reward. The differences between a Tragedy and a Comedy are these; First, in respect of the matter, because a Tragedy treats of exilements, murders, matters of grief, etc. a Comedy of lovetoyes, merry fictions and petty matters; In a Tragedy the greatest part of the actors are Kings and Noble persons; In a Comedy, private persons of meaner state and condition. The subject of a Comedy is often feigned, but of a Tragedy it is commonly true and once really performed; The beginning of a Tragedy is calme and quiet, the end fearful and turbulent; but in a Comedy contrarily, the beginning is turbulent, and the end calm. Antesifnanus. Both Comedies and Tragedies ought to have five Acts and no more, according to that of Horace. Neve minor quinto, ne usit productior actu fabula These acts are divided into several Scenes, which sometime fall out more, sometimes fewer in every act; The definition of a Scene being Mutatio Personarum.
© Feb. 1999