Kafka as an entire story is both very poetic but at the same time, it is quite literal. The story tells of man is denied access to the law, and all he has to do to be accepted into the law, is enter the gate. But the soldier tells him that he can never know the hardships that could follow him if he chooses to enter, as there will be many challenges each more daunting than the last. This causes the man to sit outside and contemplate his options, but through this the man actually wastes away outside the gate never knowing what would be on the inside, close the man’s death the soldier finally reveals to him, “No one else could ever be admitted here, since this gate was made only for you. I am now going to shut it.
This speaks on the hardships one must go through to make a change, this is how it can closely relate to Antigone, she faces all of these challenges that she is prohibited to act upon, even though in the end she chooses to bury her brother and give him a proper ceremony even though knowing death is all but avoidable because of this. She progresses through her hardship knowing that in her heart it is correct, and to her that is all that matters.
When Joseph Krutch talks on tragedy it is actually totally unique from every current definition that we have or think of when it comes to tragedy. He says that tragedy is not actually centered around failure and despair but rather triumph and glory. Which is a complete new perspective to take on the genre as when you think of it, it is more common to be centered around the failure of the main character. Something worth noting is these viewpoints that Krutch have seem to align quite nicely with Aristotle’s views, which makes me wonder where Krutch diverged his ideas from.
He also strays from some of the more common ideas that tragedy can apply to everyone and states that “tragedy is for the noble”, so again he thinks in contrast to what we have read up until this point, which is actually nice to have opposing viewpoints as it is easier to evaluate the two sides to each point, therefore not only giving more depth to the genre as a whole but allowing each reader to truly take it at their own pleasure, but after reading this I truly feel as if defining tragedy as a genre is merely grasping at straws, and will forever be a piece that readers can take away from it what they will. Tragedy is comforting in a strange way as you can appreciate the simplicity of your life in comparison to all of these drastic stories inflicted on nobles.
When you look into something sad generally you don’t think of it to be a tragedy. This is because a tragedy is much more complex and meaningful then your average sad moment in everyday life. Tragedy is something that according to the Wikipedia definition “is a form of drama based on human suffering that invokes an accompanying catharsis or pleasure in audiences.” (Tragedy, Wikipedia) with this it is obvious that tragedy is quite unique as it implies that the reader almost feels a rush of sympathy for the characters throughout the story and feels relief when it is finally over.
Tragedy also comes with its philosophical disputes as well, philosophers have discussed and talked on this genre for many years, but still no clear verdict arises. It’s quite disturbing to think that the point of a tragedy is to get enjoyment out of others suffering and hardships yet, no one seems to have a problem with it becauses it’s literature.
Most tragedies are highly over exaggerated and blown out of proportion in order to really show to the reader how sad the characters life is. But there is also a form of tragedy referred to as Common tragedy according to Wikipedia this is, “commons is taken to mean any shared and unregulated resource such as atmosphere, oceans, rivers, fish stocks, or even an office refrigerator.” (Tragedy of the Commons, Wikipedia) This is meant to be less dramatic but more realistic, it’s meant to show the common people in common places that this is all plausible to happen to them.
So with all of these different forms it is easy to interpret that there is a lot of content within tragedy, and must be properly explored as to not get overwhelmed with differing opinions and ideas. But tragedy is important to know how to understand and sift through the writing to find the true meaning.