When studying tragedy, I ask my students what they can learn from it. I don’t want the stock ‘A Level’ response, but a deeply felt reaction to the premise that all lives can be tragic.
Why should we bother about the plight of Tess d’Urberville, Willy Loman, or Othello? An awful lot of my students blame the tragic heros and heroine for getting themselves into the mess in the first place.
“If” they say. “If they had not been so headstrong, idealistic, or had been more realistic they would have been fine. Tragic downfall avoided – chill.”
Take Heed you lovers of sadness.