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Modern dramatists have redefined Aristotle’s original model, which stated that true tragedy can only depict those with power and high status. In his 1949 essay “Tragedy and the Common Man” (1949) Arthur Miller–author of Death of a Salesman–argued that tragedy may also depict ordinary people in domestic surroundings.
Other contemporary playwrights, such as Henrik Ibsen, Tennessee Williams, and more recent writers, have kept the genre of tragedy alive and well in contemporary theatre, often using recognizably typical characters and settings.
Do tragedies still evoke a healthy release of emotions? Do modern audiences still accept the notion of hamartia–the main characters tragic flaw which leads to their downfall? Or do modern psychological and sociological accounts of human behavior limit the possibilities of tragedy?
For instance, can you think of an example from reading, TV, or Movies where you thought that a better solution would have been to provide a prescription drug (anti–depressant or other remedy) to eliminate a chemical imbalance?
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