Tragic in Art and Life: General and Special

by Kiseleva, N. E., Batcyna, O. A., Dvukhzhilova, A. N.

Kiseleva NE, Batcyna OA, Dvukhzhilova AN (2017). Tragic in Art and Life: General and Special. In Young Scientist USA, Vol. 8 (p. 21). Auburn, WA: Lulu Press.


Abstract. In article the concept, an entity tragic as one of forms of manifestation esthetic in the context of historical development reveal, the role and value tragic in art come to light, the different types of tragically fight displayed in art on the basis of the human relations peculiar tragic in life are defined.

Keywords: art, tragic, history, heroic, tragic, catharsis


The reflection tragic in life this tragic in art. In the life, we call tragic a set of such phenomenon, which do not be call tragic in art. We often call tragic almost each big misfortune, suffering, and at the known cases death of almost any person (compare expression "a tragic case"). In the authentic art tragic requires first the image of the most intense fight of the people capable to carry it, disclosures of an entity of tragic character.

Just because art is the highest form of the esthetic attitude towards reality, tragic acts in the maximum concentration here. We learn tragic in his purest look through art and therefore it makes on us fantastically mournful and ennobling impression. We learn to learn more deeply tragic in the life thanks to art [1].

The tragic reveals in such art form as dramatic art which has created a special genre — the tragedy in which the most important parties and ways of display of the tragically moments are expressed in human life. The unilaterality is peculiar to tragic character in comparison with drama. Great creators of tragedies created partly full-blooded images.

At the same time, it must be kept in mind that tragic characters during centuries-old history of world art have undergone difficult processes of change and development from the point of view of the art principles which are been the basis for their creation. Every era brought the lines in tragic and revealed parties of his nature.

The tragic hero — the carrier of life individual beyond: authorities, principle, and certain supernatural force. Often heroes of the antique tragedy have given knowledge of the future thanks to prediction, prophetic dreams, words of gods and oracles. The Greeks to keep managed interest in their tragedy. Audience well knew plots of ancient myths based on which tragedies were main created. Interest of the Greek tragedy was based not so much on unexpected turns of a plot how many on logic of action. The sense of the tragedy consisted not in a necessary and fatal outcome, and in the nature of behavior of the hero [2].

The hero of the antique tragedy acts in the course of need. He not in forces to prevent inevitable, but need attracts him to an outcome, and he carries out itself the tragic destiny the actions. Such is Oedipus in Sophocles’ tragedy "Oedipus tsar". The hero of the antique tragedy acts freely even then when understands inevitability of the death. He not a fateful being, but the hero who is independently acting according to will of gods in compliance with need.

The Greek tragedy is heroic. At Eskhila Prometheus makes a feat for dedicated service to the person and pays for transfer to people of fire. The typical characters of the antique tragedy, in particular at Eskhil and Sophocles, at all their power differed in static character, limitation of internal development.

The purpose of the antique tragedy — a catharsis. The feelings represented in the tragedy clear feelings of the viewer.

In the Middle Ages, tragic acts not as heroic and as martyr. The central characters are martyrs here (for example, Christ). In medieval christian, the tragic beginning will emphasized. It is not the tragedy of clarification, but the tragedy of a consolation, the concept of a catharsis is alien to it. The legend of Tristan and Izoldaends with the address to all unlucky in the passion: "Let they will find a consolation in inconstancy and injustice, in the shame and adversities, in all sufferings of love here". Logic characteristic of the medieval tragedy: be consoled because sufferings are bitterer, and it is heavier than flour at people it is, even less, than you, deserving it. Such is will of gods. In implication of the tragedy, there lived the promise of otherworldly justice. The consolation terrestrial (you not one suffer) is multiplied by a consolation heavenly (in the next world you will not suffer, to you it will be rewarded according to the deserts). If in the antique tragedy the most unusual things quite naturally are make, then in the medieval tragedy supernatural, marvelous of the events takes the important place.

At the turn of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance towers the majestic figure of Dante. On his interpretation of tragic deep shadows of the Middle Ages lie and solar reflections of hopes of modern times, shine: in him "The divine comedy" doesn't have the second pillar of esthetic system of the medieval tragedy — supernatural, magic. Here the same naturalness supernatural, reality unreal (the geography of hell and the infernal whirlwind carrying lovers are real), which was inherent in the antique tragedy. This return to antiquity on a new basis does to Dante by one of the first representatives of the ideas of the Renaissance.

The medieval man gave everything a divine explanation. A man of modern times is looking for the cause of the world and its tragedies in the world. In philosophy, this was expires in Spinoza's classical thesis of nature as causes (the cause of itself). This earlier principle reflected in art. The world and its tragedies do not need in any otherworldly explanation, not the fate, destiny or providence, not magic or evil spells are their cornerstone. To show the world what it to eat, explain all with the internal reasons, to bring everything out of his own material nature — such motto of modern times, which embodied in Shakespeare's tragedies.

Shakespeare has made a big step forward, especially in Hamlet.Art of the Renaissance has bared the social nature of the tragic conflict. The tragedy has approved activity of the person and freedom of his will, having disclosed state of peace.

B. Shaw possesses a playful aphorism: clever adapt to the world, fools try to adapt the world for themselves therefore fools change the world and make history. This aphorism in a paradoxical form states the Hegelian concept of tragic fault. The reasonable person, working according to common sense, is guide only by the settled prejudices of the time. The tragic hero acts in compliance with need to carry out himself, without looking on any conditions. He acts freely, itself choosing the direction and the purposes of actions. The reason of his death his own character is concluded it activities. The tragic outcome in the personality. External circumstances can only come into conflict with traits of character of the tragic hero and show them, but the reason of his acts — in him, he brings destruction in himself the reason — his tragic fault [3].

Hegel spoke about ability of the tragedy to investigate state of peace. Example, in Hamlet it, is defined so "link of times", "the whole world — prison, and Denmark — the worst of vaults", "the century dislocated from joints" has broken up. Big art becomes a history mirror. Shakespearean tradition — reflection of state of peace, universal problems — the principle of the modern tragedy.

In the ancient tragedy, the necessity realized through the hero's free action. The Middle Ages transformed the need for the arbitrariness of Providence. The revival committed an uprising against the necessity and against the arbitrariness of Providence and affirmed the freedom of the individual, which inevitably turned into her arbitrariness. The Renaissance did not develop all the forces of society. The great hopes of the humanists for the creation of a harmonious, universal human being touched with their chilling breath the impending epoch of hopes of bourgeoisies and individualism. The most sharp-sighted artists have understood the tragedy of the crash of hopes: Rabelais, Cervantes, and Shakespeare.

The Renaissance era gave rise to the tragedy of an unregulated person. The only regulation for the person was the first and last commandment of the Thelema monastery: "Do whatever you want" (Rabelais, Gargantua and Pantagruel).

The hopes of humanists were illusions. That the hopes personality having got rid of medieval restrictions it is reasonable and for good will dispose of the freedom. The utopia of the independent personality has turned back her absolute regulation. In France in the 17th centuries the regulation was shown in policy — in the absolutist state, in science and philosophy — in Descartes's doctrine about the method entering a human thought into the course of strict rules in the sphere of art — in classicism. The tragedy of utopian absolute freedom is succeed by the tragedy of real absolute standard conditionality of the personality. The general beginning in an image of a debt of the personality in relation to the state acts as restrictions of her behavior, and these restrictions conflict to free will of the person, to his passions and desires. This conflict becomes central in Corneille's tragedies and Racine.

In the art of romanticism (Heine, F. Schiller, J. Byron, F. Chopin), the state of the world is expressed through the state of mind. The romanticism realizes that the universal principle can have not a divine, but a diabolical nature and is capable of carrying evil.

The art of critical realism revealed the tragic discord between the individual and society. One of the greatest tragedies of the XIX century – "Boris Godunov" by Alexander Pushkin. Godunov wants to use power for the good of the people. He commits evil en route to power – he kills the innocent prince Dmitry. The abyss of alienation and anger lay between Boris and the people. You cannot fight for a people without a people. Pushkin shows this. Powerful, active character Boris and his feature resembles the heroes of Shakespeare. However, there are deep differences: Shakespeare has a person in the center, in the Pushkin tragedy, the fate of man is the destiny of the people. The actions of the personality are compare for the first time with the good of the people. Such problems are the product of a new era. The people act as the protagonist of the tragedy and the supreme judge of the actions of the heroes.

In the critical realism of the XIX century (Dickens, Balzac, Stendhal, Gogol, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky and others), a non-tragic character becomes a hero of tragic situations. In life, tragedy has become an "ordinary story", and her hero – an alienated, "private and partial" (Hegel) man. Therefore, in art, tragedy as a genre disappears, but as an element, it penetrates into all the genera and genres of art, capturing the intolerance of the discord between man and society.

The dramatic characters in the art of the second half of the XIX century (for example, Chekhov and Ibsen) have such nuances and complex overflows of colors, which the old tragedy did not know.

Hegel also wrote about tragic characters: "They certainly represent what they can and should be according to their concept, it is not a multiple fullness, epic decaying, but only a unique force of this definite character, albeit living and individual: clothed with this power according to His personality is inextricably merged with some special aspect of the true life content and is ready to stand up for it "[3, p.363].

So that tragedy ceases to be a constant companion of social life, despite the fact that tragic conflicts will never disappear, tragic society must become human, come into harmony with the personality. The desire of a person to overcome the discord in the world, to search for the lost meaning of life is the concept of the tragic and pathos of the development of this topic in the critical realism of the twentieth century (E. Hemingway, W. Faulkner, L. Frank, H. Böll, F. Fellini, M. Antonioni, J. Gershwin and others).

A feature of the disclosure of the tragic in all forms of art is not only the display of the actions of the hero, but also primarily the analysis of the motives of these actions, the depiction of the tragic confluence of circumstances and the continuous growth of intense struggle. It is should be emphasized that internal significance is an indispensable condition for the creation of a tragic character, even if negative features predominate in it. Art shows that for all the unusual, strong and purposeful character, actions and destinies of the tragic hero, his essence is always deeply human, there are no "superhuman" traits and motives in it [4].

The showing different types of human relationships, characteristic of the tragic in life, art reveals and various types of tragedy. For example, a high tragedy, the essence of which is that the hero himself chooses a tragic fate: having the opportunity to evade the deadly battle, he chooses the struggle for principled reasons. This, for example, is the need to punish evil (Hamlet by W. Shakespeare); Free choice of the hard way of duty ("Love Yarovaya" by K. A. Trenev); Heroes who challenge the outdated concepts and morals of the surrounding society ("Romeo and Juliet" by V. Shakespeare, "The Thunder" by A. N. Ostrovsky).

The tragedy is shown also in the image of actions of the personality who is in advance doomed by circumstances to death (for example, E. Hemingway's novel "Behind the river in a shadow of trees") or in understanding imperfect in life, irrevocability of fruitlessly past life ("Uncle Vanya" of A. P. Chekhov, etc.)

Often the moments of "tragic fault" and "tragic mistakes" act in the tragedy. For example, Oedipus's destiny from the tragedy of Sophocles of the same name taking a penalty for crimes of the father or Grigory Melikhov in M. A. Sholokhov's epic "Quiet Don" fighting for the sake of a falsely understood debt.

The opening a concept of tragic, it is necessary to mark that art does not execute the assignment without the tragic beginning. It is an art entity — expression of through tragic. The vital conflict, which is ending with loss of the hero facing force majeure, always invests in a basis of the tragic work, a plot. In fight, which is carries by the tragic hero, the most considerable high and heroic features of human spirit and character.

These features reflect fight of progressive tendencies of vital process against historically fateful, but still deadly social forces [4]. Can be examples of originally tragic character Prometheus entering unequal fight against Zeus for the sake of the mankind benefit, heroes of tragedies of V. Shakespeare — the King Lear, Othello, Hamlet perishing in fight against the stagnancy caused by certain historical conditions for the principles of original humanity.

Tragic demands strict internal art logic in the image of fight, her current and an outcome. The logic of tragic fight will get, for example, Ivan Susanin's image from the opera of Glinka of the same name.

Regularity of tragic death teaches us to understand and estimate better circumstances of such defeat, learns to form the characters capable to pass ordeals. But the hero fighting and even perishing for the sake of objectively reactionary historical purpose, can't be carried to number of originally tragic characters, and his destiny can't become contents of the tragedy (for example, Tibald's death in V. Shakespeare's tragedy "Romeo and Juliette" or Hitler and his henchmen in a picture Kukryniksov "End").

It is necessary to emphasize once again that internal relevancy is an indispensable condition of creation of tragic character even if in him dominate negative lines. It is wrong to believe that small, insignificant character in which undividedly dominates ugly and pathetic, is capable to act tragically even if it is connect with a tragic situation. We will remember Gogol Plyushkin. The thought of this to "a tear on mankind" was for Gogol a reason for lyrical thought about horror of "a brutal old age", about dangers which trap on a course of life "the ardent young man", and for the penetrating address to the Russian youth in general [5, p. 127].

"And to what negligibility, meanness, a muck the person could condescend! I could change so! It is similar to the truth. Everything is similar to the truth; all may be with the person. The present ardent young man would jump aside with horror if have shown him his portrait in old age. Take away with yourself at way, leaving soft youthful years in the severe hardening courage, take away with yourself all human movements, and do not leave them on the road: you will not raise then! Grozna, the old age approaching ahead is terrible, and returns nothing and back! The grave is more merciful than her, on a grave will be wrote: it is the person buried here! But you will read nothing in calm, insensible lines of a brutal old age" [5, p.127]. The totals about tragic sounding of an image of Plyushkin become bases on lyrical digression and become. However, unless Plyushkin is tragic? Authentic and deep "human movements" were always alien to it, never defined its internal entity.

Gorky wrote in "Conversations about craft": "The tragedy — it is too high for the world where almost all "sufferings" arise in fight for the property right to the person, on a thing and where under the slogan of "fight for freedom" often fight for expansion of "right" of operation of others work. The petty bourgeois, even when he "the avaricious knight", after all is not tragic because the passion to a coin, to gold — is ugly and ridiculous. In general, in the old, petty-bourgeois world ridiculous as much, how many gloomy. Plyushkin and the father to Granda Balzac — aren't tragic, they are disgusting. I do not see — what, except amount of the created evil, Plyushkin differs from the millionaire petty bourgeoises incurably sick with passion to a profit. The tragedy excludes the platitude inevitably inherent in small, petty-bourgeois dramas, which so plentifully soil life. When in the zoological park monkey’s fight — unless it is the tragedy?" [6, p.319].

Therefore, the role and value tragic in art are big. Tragic has played a big role in development of art creativity; it promoted expansion and deepening of the reality picture created in realistic art. Tragic motives promoted emergence in art of such esthetic category as drama, and the related drama genres in art. Development of art testifies to the new opportunities now opened before him in the field of tragic. For our artists life of the modern world difficult in every respect gives big material.

Tragic art reveals public and individual meaning of life of the person and shows that immortality of the person is carries out in immortality of the people that actualize a subject and now.




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