Tragic, tragic tales

What’s with tragedy and critical appreciation? They have a weird, twisted affair. I’m sure of that. I have always been confounded by the fact that some of the much-appreciated works of literature are tales so tragic, that I get depressed by the very thought of it. Consider the following works – Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, Othello, Macbeth, Julius Caesar, King Lear, Anthony and Cleopatra, Anna Karenina, Wuthering Heights, The Great Gatsby, Tess of the D’Urbervilles, Les Misérables. The list of contemporary tragedies is equally long – One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, The Fault in Our Stars, Looking for Alaska, The Diary of a Young Girl, The Book Thief, If I Stay, The Divergent Series, Lolita, Sophie’s Choice, A Walk to Remember. Need I go on? I hope I haven’t already bored you to death with that list. If you’re still reading, thank you for your patience! So, you get the point, right? Great tragedies, apparently seem to be a typical winning recipe for “Classic Literature” lists. (At least, the ones that I’ve come across.)

And it’s not just limited to literature. The movies aren’t any better! Schindler’s List, Titanic, Million Dollar Baby, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, and of course, the movie adaptations of some of the aforementioned books! Major tearjerkers, and some of the top-rated movies of our times. I’m not a huge fan of tragedies. I don’t care how much the critics love the movie, and how “classic” it is! This stuff is guaranteed to reduce me to a blubbering mess, leaving me, to frantically wipe my red eyes and puffy noise, and go through wads of tissue over the course of a couple of hours. (Stuff, that otherwise would have lasted for weeks!) To make matters worse, my tolerance limit before the floodgates burst wide open is pretty low.

More often than not, the movies that portray heart-wrenching subjects, perform exceptionally well on the awards circuit. If you take a good look at IMDb, you’ll see that almost all movies with a rating of 8.5 and above are tragic, woebegone tales. I’m not saying that tragedies are overrated, but the I’ve often felt that the feel-good stuff is direly underrated.

It’s not that I’ve anything against tragedies. I’ve read and watched (cried my way through) my fair share of tragedies. Granted, tragedies can be exceptional, moving and portray powerful messages but, it is also a genre I prefer to watch alone, for the sake of preserving my dignity.  😛

So naturally, it bothers me that most of my favorite films don’t get the credit, which I think is due to them! (Which, come to think of it, is also the reason why I’ll never be a film critic!!) Clearly, you better not insult romantic comedies when I’m around!  😛

Have you ever felt the same? Feel free to share your thoughts on this subject 🙂

© 2016 Shweta Suresh. All rights reserved.

Image courtesy: Pexels

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9 thoughts on “Tragic, tragic tales

      1. Sigh.. I was being sarcastic with my comment. Indicated by the “:P” at the end. You haven’t heard of the divine comedy have you? It is a poem written by Dante Alighieri about his journey through hell. Not exactly laughing material .

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  1. I understand your point, and tragedies are certainly my first choice in entertainment. I have to be in a particularly sombre mood to choose to watch a tragedy, but I think the very reason they garner so much acclaim if they are done well, is that they touch a place deep within us with a human truth that forces us to face things we would rather keep at bay. I love romantic comedies. Nora Efron brings me joy, but, as a genre, romantic comedy doesn’t usually ask anything of us but our indulgence.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know, tragedies​ can affect us deeply, pull on our heart strings.. the way no romcom can! It’s taken me a while but I’ve finally accepted that tragic tales do deserve so much acclaim. I agree with you – I think that’s why they garner so much acclaim too. I love romantic comedies too. Yes, Nora Efron’s movies are a joy to watch. Yes, romantic comedies rarely turn you into a crying mess! Thanks for stopping by and reading, Sue. 😊
      Thank you very much for taking the time to share your thoughts on this. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

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