The theatrical definition of tragedy is a complex one. The average person might describe tragedy as a sad, sad story in which someone always dies in the end. In some cases, that is true. However, tragedy comes in different forms. Tragedy can have comical elements, like dark comedies and tragicomedies. Tragedy can also have obvious themes and conflicts that don't require much analysis like melodramas. There are three plays in particular that display three different categories of tragedy. Those plays are Medea, written by Euripides; Hedda Gabler, written by Henrik Ibsen; and The Qing Ding Pearl, which comes from anonymous authors. Though these three plays exhibit different elements of tragedy, they all share a common purpose.
Medea is a key example of the traditional idea of tragedy. The protagonist of the play, or the carrier of all of the action , is Medea. After marrying Jason of the Argo and having two sons with him, she discovered that he intended to also marry the Princess of Corinth.
Her rage and despair drove her to insanity and led her to believe the best way to repay Jason for his disregard toward her was to kill his bride-to-be, the King of Corinth, and her two sons. Though the main antagonist, or the opposition of the action , is Jason... he also serves as the character who goes through the tragic transition at the very end of the play. A traditional tragedy entails that a character must go through "reversal and recognition" . This simply means that a character that was prosperous in the beginning of the play will have nothing but his/her misery in the end. Also, that same character will have newfound knowledge by the end of the play whereas in the beginning, he/she had ignorance. As stated before,