The Relevance of Tragedies Today Tragedies retain their relevance in contemporary times, because the themes of human suffering, and mortality, remain a part of everyday life. The Relevance of Tragedies Today. The Greek tragedies, dating back to the sixth century B. C., are some of the earliest literary works in human history. While the Olympian Gods, the royal heroes, and masks, are far removed from the realities of contemporary life, we remain attracted to tragedies. Tragedies retain their relevance today because the main characteristics of the Greek tragedy - human suffering, and mortality, continue to be a part of human existence.
Tragedies evoke an empathetic response in contemporary society, as the conflicts which constitute the plot of ancient Greek drama continue to be a part of our lives. Love, separation, ordeals and self-sacrifice are as relevant today as in the past. The intricacies of family relationships, and suffering, are very much the basis of existence. Tragedies speak strongly to human emotions, and we can empathize with the hero’s attempt to achieve some goal, the human frailty which contributes to his downfall and the bonds of love and hate which define the plot.
The theme of human mortality, which runs through Greek tragedy, continues to underlie our lives today. In spite of our attempt to emphasize the existential philosophy of self-determination, and choice, we cannot help but suspect that we are in the grip of fates which we cannot evade. Finally, we have to confront the reality of our mortality and death. The modern-day hero can struggle to overcome obstacles, placed in his way by destiny or choice, but finally he is defeated by the doom of his own mortality.
Humanity is drawn to tragedies, as they reflect man’s eternal quest to rise above his inherent frailty to reach out to the heights – of Olympus or of achievement. We continue to identify with the striving for perfection, and the reality of suffering, in everyday life. As long as suffering, emotions and death remain a part of our lives, tragedies will continue to exert their fascination over our psyche. (Word Count: 315 words).