Analysis of Tragic Characters and Narratives (Long)

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Analysis of Tragic Characters and Narratives (Long)

Postby Gelsamel » Thu Jan 24, 2013 7:10 am UTC

There isn't really a proper forum for this. But books are the oldest medium we have for writing, so I've put this thread here.

I've already warned you that this is long. Turn back if you want to survive.




Classical Tragedy.

When people use the word tragedy they often mean very different things than what is meant by the 'tragedy' in 'Classical Tragedy'. It is often used to refer to narratives with bad endings, with protagonists dying, or high on misery or blood. To be clear, classical tragedy (hereafter refered to as 'tragedy') often includes these things. However, more specifically, tragedy is about the protagonist experiencing a specific kind of failure. So how do we know whether a narrative is tragedy, and what different types are there?

To answer this question we have to first set out a framework for analysing characters. You could write whole essays on this, but lets skip that and use this formulation.

Every character can be split into 4 different sections. The sections are as follows:

    Motivation
  • This is the character's reason for doing what they do in a story. A characters motivation is generally formulated similarly to a goal. For example... a character could have a motivation something along the lines of 'I want to be rich' or 'I want to save the world'. This is why it could also be called a 'dream' or 'wish'.

    Goal
  • Do not confuse this with motivation they are different things. Keep this in mind, as we'll come back to it later. The goal is an explicit end-state that the character decides can fulfil the requirements of their motivation. In the previous examples, the goals might be 'Win the lottery' and 'Defeat the villian' respectively.

    Methodology
  • This one doesn't require much explanation. It is simply 'how' the character tries to achieve their goal. The character who buys a lot of lottery tickets is quite different to the character who tries to cheat the lottery system.

    Evaluation
  • How does your character evaluate their progress? A character who takes the most logical course of action and abandons any paths shown to be ineffective is much different from a stubborn character set in their ways. Whether, Why and How, this evaluation happens (and whether it changes any of the above sections) is an important part of a character.

Using these four properties we should be able to define and differentiate any character.


Now that we know about the character, what is the specific kind of failure that defines tragedy? It is that the character is 'mistaken' in some aspect and this mistake brings their downfall. The failure results in the motivation not being realised or possibly the exact opposite being realised.
In this context, the mistake exists at one of levels listed above. But what type of mistakes can be made, and how do they work in the context of a tragedy narrative?





Tragedy Type 1: Equivocation
For this type we'll consider both Motivation and Goal. I won't talk about Evaluation here, because tragic characters almost never evaluate. Or if they ever do evaluate, it obviously doesn't prevent the tragedy. This type of tragedy occurs when the character mistakes their motivation and goal as being the same thing. But the mistake can be on the motivation side, or on the goal side. Lets see some examples.



Character: Alice
Motivation: To be happy
Goal: To get a lover
Method: Will do anything to get someone she loves to love her back.


This is an example of the paradox of hedonism, and an example of tragedy from a mistaken goal. The problem here is that Alice has made the mistake of equivocation. Goal is not the same as Motivation. This is a type of tragedy that occurs every day. People want to be happy, and assume that simlpy reaching their goals makes them happy.

There isn't anything wrong with her method. The problem is that having a lover doesn't automatically make you happy. You could replace 'To get a lover' with 'To get a job' or 'To get rich' or 'To own a house'. These are all quite common goals people set themselves, thinking that it will lead to happiness.

Alice's story is doomed to fail from the start, and she will never be truly happy. Worse yet, because she is so obsessed with achieving her goal, she may have hurt herself or others in various ways. At the least, she put a lot of time and effort into it.

In her mind, those sacrifices would be worth it at long as she ended up being happy. Tragedy isn't that those sacrifices ended up adding to nothing. It is that those sacrifices never could have worked to begin with. It was that right from the start she was doomed.

If Alice wasn't mistaken, but rather some freak accident happened right at the end of the story. Her efforts would have indeed been in vain. But it would not be tragedy, just a downer ending.
It has to have always been in vain. There has to be this realisation that they themselves were mistaken.

You could apply Evaluation in this case. A person who reaches their goal and still isn't happy generally sets a new goal, thinking that will make them happen. This is Paradox of Hedonism.



Character: Beatrice
Motivation: To bring peace, fairness, freedom and quality of life to everyone in her Empire.
Goal: To become empress.
Method: Follow a political career path, doing anything to climb the ladder to ruler.


If anyone was in a position to achieve that Motivation it would be the ruler, right? There isn't any problem with the Goal here and the method is certainly the quickest way to become a ruler. So what is the problem? Again, it is equivocation. But this time the Motivation is the mistake.

If ever there was an example of the Goal not being the same as the Motivation, this is it. When the motivation itself is mistaken... the Goal is possible, but the Motivation is impossible. That is the issue here.

When Beatrice makes it to be Empress she simply cannot achieve her motivation. Despite her goal being completely appropriate, she cannot realise her motivation. It dawns on her that it simply isn't possible, there is too many conflicting needs.

Beatrice's story is doomed to fail from the start, true peace will never be achieved. Worse yet, she might have done horrible things that she didn't want to do which she justified as being worth it, as long as she can make a Utopia later on. She may have suffered horrible things herself but persevered because it would be worth it.

Yet in reality those things never brought her closer to her dream and could never have done, because that dream is an impossibility.

If Beatrice wasn't mistaken, if there really could be utopia, but some diabolos ex machina came in right at the end to prevent her from being Empress... then it wouldn't be a tragedy, just a downer ending.






Tragedy Type 2: Mistaken Method.

It is here we consider when the method is mistaken. As in the case above, we won't consider Evaluation. It is especially true in the case of Mistaken Method, that tragic characters generally don't evaluate. Tragic characters are stubborn when it comes to the mistaken they've made.



Character: Colette
Motivation: To be liked, loved, and have people to hang out with.
Goal: Get some friends.
Method: Be passive-aggressive, sabotage herself and push others away.


As we can see, the goal and motivation are in line. Getting friends will almost certainly realise her motivation. But very clearly there is an issue with her method.

What causes a character to take such blatantly contrary methods would certainly be the focus of such a narrative, but lets take it at face value for now.

Much like in the above examples, this character is doomed from the start. There isn't any crazy occurance that poisons her relationships and makes her efforts in vain. It is that everything she has done never brought her closer to her goal or her motivation.

That being said this exact example probably isn't very common in tragedy. More often than not this character would have a character growth arc where she learns how to build relationships properly. But this is an easy way to understand how a Mistaken Method can form the basis of a tragic character.



Character: Diana
Motivation: To save the world
Goal: Defeat the Villian
Method: Gather the 5 special artifacts to make the ultimate weapon!


In this example, unbeknownst to Diana, the special artifacts' only usage is to empower the Villian to destroy the world. Her method is mistaken. Because of this, at no point is Diana ever taking steps towards her goal or motivation. Right from the start she is doomed to failure.

It is important that this isn't a case of some bad wizard coming and screwing things up for her. It's that the artifacts never had a good use.

If the villian swoops in, steals the artifacts, and cackles whilst mocking the protagonist, then that isn't tragedy. It has to be the case that her method wasn't viable from the start. That everything she's suffered has been in vain. Worse, that she has actually empowered a force to realise the opposite of her motivation.



Character: Eunice
Motivation: To save as many people as possible from harm
Goal: Stop anyone they see willing to hurt people.
Method: Sacrifice the few for the many.


At first glance, there is no issue with her method. It is spot on. If you're choosing to save the larger amount of people in any particular conflict, then you'll save 'as many as possible' right?

But remember that first conflict she had? Where she had to kill someone to stop them hurting a lot more people. Well during the climax it was revealed that, in actuality, that persons death is what triggers the inevitability of a greater cataclysm.

In this case, unlike the other Mistaken Methods, the method isn't mistaken in the general case. This mistake was made in a very specific case.

In fact the method makes complete sense. You couldn't blame anyone for taking this route, and it is unreasonable to expect the protagonist to have known about the mistake.

It would be hard to say "If only they thought about it more!" or "If only they realised that their goal won't allow them to reach their motivation". Sometimes in these situations, it might even be difficult to say in retrospect that the choice was incorrect.





Tragedy Type 3: Failure to Evaluate.

I consider this a sort of special type of tragic character. Most tragic characters commit a failure to evaluate at some level. Either they don't evaluate at all, or their evaluation doesn't have enough information to stray them from their tragic path. The equivocating tragic character might evaluate, but they'd never evaluate that their goal doesn't match their motivation. The mistaken method character might evaluate, but they'd never evaluate that their method won't work.

But this particular special kind of character's tragic mistake lies only in evaluation. How can that be so?

This is only the case when a character is actually successful. They've actually achieved their motivation. Regardless of their method or goal, they've actually realised their dream. But they don't know it. For whatever reason they're too blind to see it.

This only really works for personal motivations. If the character is trying to save the world and does... then it isn't particularly tragic that the character doesn't realise the world is saved.



But consider the following character:
Character: Francesca
Motivation: To be liked, loved, and have people to hang out with.
Goal: Get some friends.
Method: Act overly proud. Brag. Lie to play herself up.


You might think that this should fall into the category of a Mistaken Method. This character might even work for that, though that is doubtful... the mistake isn't strong enough.

But lets consider the case that she actually does have friends in spite of her shoddy method. She has friends and they like her. Hell, her friends even know the bragging and playing herself up is an act. They realise she is insecure in herself but they love her nonetheless.

However, Francesca, for what ever reason, cannot truly understand her friends feelings. She fails to evaluate that, actually, she is liked and loved. Because of this, she persists in the feeling that she is alone and disliked. It is a blindness that makes the character feel as though their motivation has not been realised, even while it is realised.

Much like in the case of Colette, this type of character is more often only a tragic character for a while. They usually go through some character growth where they realised that actually they've 'had it all along'. Perhaps through some kind of 'you don't know what you have until you lose it' type story arc.

This is a lesser kind of tragedy than the others. Which brings me to the quantification of tragedy.





How Tragic?
It is worth pointing out that this has no bearing on how 'good' a story is. This is simply a way measure of 'how' tragic the character or tragic narrative is.

The more of the following qualities the tragic narrative has, the 'greater' the tragedy:
  • The tragic nature of the narrative/protagonist is unknown until a reveal at the climax of the narrative.
  • The tragic narrative takes place at an epic scale. Concerning many people and places.
  • The method is disagreeable to the tragic protagonist, but justified under the condition that their motivation is realised.
  • The sacrifices made are high.
  • The mistake of the method is only single irreversible flaw early in the narrative.
  • The potagonist can't be blamed for failing. As in it would be completely unreasonable for them to have known about their mistake, even hypothetically.

The more of the following qualities the tragic narrative has, the 'lesser' the tragedy:
  • The tragedy affects only the protagonist.
  • The mistake is known to the audience from the start.
  • The tragedy is ongoing in a way that it could potentially be averted in the future.

If we look at a character like Francesca, we see that she ticks all the 'lesser' tragedy boxes. She is only hurting herself it would be very clear from the start that she is making a mistake, and she could rectify her mistake in the future. This doesn't make her any less deserving of our empathy or the narrative any 'worse'. However we can recognise this as being a 'lesser' tragedy than the case of thousands dying because of a reveal at the climax that reverses the meaning of the great sacrifices made by the protagonist.

Like in the case of Eunice, for example. It wasn't a mistake she could have avoided or really be blamed for. Her failure affects many people. You only find out about the mistake in a reveal at the climax. The sacrifices she made were high (all the people she killed under her justification). The method is disagreeable to her (she ideally wouldn't need to kill anyone to save others). The mistake in her method was singular, not general.





Conclusion

Using this system of categorisation, we should be able to analyse any tragic narrative or tragic character. If you have any questions or comments, criticisms then feel free to voice them. I'm interested to hear about narratives and characters that you can fit into this schema. I'm also interested if you think there are tragic narrative that don't fit.

Unlike with most other genres of narrative, simply labeling something as a tragedy is a spoiler, as it precludes certain types of endings. If you want to talk about any characters or narratives in the context of tragedy then you should spoiler box what you say without any kind of title.

Even noting that the spoiler box is for a particular story may be a spoiler in and of itself. So venture into spoiler boxes only if you don't care about being spoiled by anything.
"Give up here?"
- > No
"Do you accept defeat?"
- > No
"Do you think games are silly little things?"
- > No
"Is it all pointless?"
- > No
"Do you admit there is no meaning to this world?"
- > No

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Re: Analysis of Tragic Characters and Narratives (Long)

Postby rmsgrey » Thu Jan 24, 2013 1:12 pm UTC

I'm not sure I grok your framework. Any chance you could show how Romeo Montague does/doesn't fit?

(I don't consider something revealed in the prologue of one of Shakespeare's better known plays to be a spoiler, though the details of his doomed death may warrant tagging)

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Re: Analysis of Tragic Characters and Narratives (Long)

Postby Gelsamel » Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:18 pm UTC

For speaking about Shakespeare I guess we can do without spoiler boxes.

To be brutally honest, I wouldn't consider Romeo and Juliet to be a tragedy in the sense I mean tragedy.

If we just look at the fated scene itself... then we could consider that a mini-tragedy of its own, I guess? Romeo's flaw being... not waiting a couple minutes? You see what I mean when I don't consider it a tragedy? Hell, in Shakespeare's tragedies the protagonists are usually part of the elite but Romeo is just some random dude... It is completely unlike his other tragedies.

Other than, kind of... maybe..., the fated scene... it doens't really have much going for it in terms of tragedy. To be honest it seems more like a comedy to me, a comedy of how stupid and ill-thought young love can be. I've always thought of it as saying "Look at how fucking stupid these silly kids are" more than anything else.

If R&J can be called a tragedy, then it is not a tragedy in the same sense that, say, King Lear is a tragedy. In King Lear the mistake is made right at the start, he makes the mistake of not rightly evaluating Cordelia's love for him... and in relinquishing his power directly causes all of the events that follow in which virtually everyone dies. Once Lear had given away his power, he could do nothing to prevent the disaster from following. Furthermore, the event of relinquishing his power directly causes every other tragic event to occur.

There wasn't anything wrong with his Motivation or Goal. But the Method he used to acheive his goal led him to ruin.

In the case of something like Oedipus, you can see that the flaw is that of misunderstanding (a mistaken method). Once he assumed that those who raised him were his parents, he had no hope of avoiding the prophecy because he thought he was already in the clear. Of course, his tragedy was somewhat forced on him but that seems very common of older tragedies.

I personally believe that if the tragedy is forced, if it is 'fate' and only illusionarily voluntary... then that makes it a 'lesser' tragedy than if the tragedy is truly voluntary. But I guess some people would disagree with that?


It can also be hard to talk about this kind of thing when referencing stuff that is popularly labeled 'tragedy' simply due to the propensity for narratives to be labeled 'tragedy' solely on the basis of a 'Downer Ending' or the presence of suffering. For what I'm talking about there is a difference between Misery Porn and Tragedy. Not that Misery Porn is 'bad' or anything, just... not what I'm talking about here.
"Give up here?"
- > No
"Do you accept defeat?"
- > No
"Do you think games are silly little things?"
- > No
"Is it all pointless?"
- > No
"Do you admit there is no meaning to this world?"
- > No

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Re: Analysis of Tragic Characters and Narratives (Long)

Postby rmsgrey » Thu Jan 24, 2013 4:24 pm UTC

Romeo makes a choice early on that dooms him, with the information that it will do so - "my mind misgives some consequence yet hanging in the stars shall bitterly begin his fearful date with this night's revels and expire the term of a despised life closed in my breast by some vile forfeit of untimely death." - Act I, Scene IV. And before that, in the choices of the Capulets and Montagues to pursue their feud - it's as much or more a tragedy for the parents (particularly the senior Capulets) as for the young lovers.

Once Romeo meets Juliet, all else unfolds inexorably from the characters of the various characters. Choleric Tybalt seeks vengeance for the imagined slight of Romeo's trespass at the ball, and for the real slight of his dressing down from his uncle, unjustly blamed upon Romeo as the occasion of it. Mercurial Mercutio, disdaining Romeo's painful attempts to keep the peace intercepts Tybalt's ire, and, hampered by Romeo's well-intentioned intervention, is struck down. Romeo, in turn, pursues that personal vengeance upon Tybalt which it was the Prince's place to take, or to appoint another to take. Romeo's banishment and Old Capulet's attempts to divert his daughter and improve his own position by the match with Paris lead to Friar Lawrence's desperate scheme. Friar Lawrence's failure to use the agreed channel of communication to Romeo means his message goes astray, and Romeo, as rash as Juliet, acts impetuously in taking his own life shortly before Juliet awakens, discerns his fate, and pursues him into death.

There are points at which many of the characters have the opportunity to turn events aside, but, by their own character and choices, are locked into the path that leads to that dreadful morning. Some good may come of it, but all involved suffer as a result of their choices.

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Re: Analysis of Tragic Characters and Narratives (Long)

Postby Gelsamel » Fri Jan 25, 2013 3:06 am UTC

The problem is that there isn't a single mistake of method or goal or motivation and that virtually every mistaken relies on happenstace. The line you quote is just foreshadowing, I can't see how it is any kind of 'mistake' or 'fatal flaw'. Romeo forshadows in that line that it is 'some consequence' (some chain of events) that lead him to his untimely death... not some particular shortcoming of his own. Even the prologue foreshadows that it is fate that will screw them over, not any character flaw ('star-crossed lovers').

The fall of the protagonist has to be because of their individual will. It has to be caused by them. However in R&J they are 'star-crossed lovers'; it is their fate to fall, not some error of their own.

Think about Friar Lawrence's messenger for instance. No flaw of Romeo's causes the message to fail. Were Romeo an impetuous or angry young lad, he may turn away the messenger, dooming himself to failure (certainly, one could rewrite Romeo using this as a character flaw and make it a true classical tragedy). Instead, it simply happens that Romeo hears the news from someone else. Fate conspires against him. Even in the fated scene, both Romeo and Juliet's death are completely based on chance. Had Romeo come slightly later, or Juliet drink slightly earlier, all would be avoided. There is no mistake; simply fate, diabolus ex machina, conspiring against them.

There is no early mistake that makes all further efforts in vain.
There is no consistant methodology adhered to that 'never brought Romeo closer to Juliet'.
There is no mistake between goal and motivation that makes Romeo acheiving his goal negate his motivation.

Now, you probably know the text better than I do. I am not a huge fan of Shakespeare, personally. But "Romeo and Juliet is not a tragedy" or "is a lesser tragedy of happenstance" (ie. not a classical tragedy) is not an uncommon analysis of the play. Even the TvTropes page point out -- "Diabolus ex Machina: Repeatedly. The line about "star-crossed lovers" in the opening narration is a Lampshade Hanging; the stars - meaning Fate - are going to make sure everyone ends up miserable." and under my formulation, using a diabolus ex machina to create tragedy is not tragedy in the sense I use the word.

In this sense, Romeo and Juliet is like the "tragedy" where the villian swoops in at the last minute to screw everything up. Sure you could try and make some excuse like "Well, the protagonist not being able to stop the villian was his fatal flaw" but that doesn't fit into the schema proposed. Being defeated, by villian, by diabolus ex machina, or fate, is simply losing. It is simply a 'bad end' and failure. It isn't tragedy because it is not born out of some inherent mistake in the character's method/motivation or goal. A character with no mistakes may still lose to a villian or diabolus ex machina, but it isn't tragedy. Even if such a character does have mistakes... if the failure is caused by someone else, by the villian defeating them or by fate conspiring against them, then it isn't classical tragedy.

I think it is at least easy to see that it isn't a tragedy in the classical sense (or if it is, it doesn't not aspire to a greater level of tragedy). But if you disagree I'd like to hear whereelse you think this formulation might fail.



There is this great quote I found about Oedipus that really gets to the heart of tragedy.
Wikipedia wrote: Whitman himself regarded the play as "the fullest expression of this conception of tragedy," that is the conception of tragedy as a "revelation of the evil lot of man," where a man may have "all the equipment for glory and honor" but still have "the greatest effort to do good" end in "the evil of an unbearable self for which one is not responsible."

Well, whether it is the fullest expression or not is up for debate. But the idea that 'the conception of (classic) tragedy' is where a character has all the ability to good, all the effort to do good, and yet still, due to some mistake, ends up doing unwanted evil. It's the idea that good intentions, ability, and virtue aren't always enough to bring about good and can indeed bring about evil.
"Give up here?"
- > No
"Do you accept defeat?"
- > No
"Do you think games are silly little things?"
- > No
"Is it all pointless?"
- > No
"Do you admit there is no meaning to this world?"
- > No

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Re: Analysis of Tragic Characters and Narratives (Long)

Postby Kewangji » Fri Jan 25, 2013 9:11 am UTC

Thank you for posting this; I've enjoyed reading it. It lines up a lot with thoughts and discussions on tragedies I've had before.

To construct a tragedy, I would sometimes think up a tragic ending and derive a single moment/decision (what would ideally be the first scene) from which the rest is inevitable.

So, say we have a character, Glaxzbert. Their motivation is to win the love of a specific Human. Their goal is to sail off into the stars with this human. They evaluate by studying human mating rituals and determining what makes humans happy, and from this they get the methodology of making it all seem like fate that the two of them would fall in love, using their alien technology to arrange moments of fate, while still being mostly honest about their origins.

It is doomed to fail because the Human would never leave their own planet. I guess this is equivocation, as the goal of sailing off into the stars was not achievable, though winning the Human's Heart was? What happens if Glaxzbert decides to stay on Earth with their newfound love, despite the orders from their home planet – is that still a tragedy?
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Re: Analysis of Tragic Characters and Narratives (Long)

Postby Gelsamel » Fri Jan 25, 2013 10:03 am UTC

Kewangji wrote:Thank you for posting this; I've enjoyed reading it. It lines up a lot with thoughts and discussions on tragedies I've had before.

To construct a tragedy, I would sometimes think up a tragic ending and derive a single moment/decision (what would ideally be the first scene) from which the rest is inevitable.

So, say we have a character, Glaxzbert. Their motivation is to win the love of a specific Human. Their goal is to sail off into the stars with this human. They evaluate by studying human mating rituals and determining what makes humans happy, and from this they get the methodology of making it all seem like fate that the two of them would fall in love, using their alien technology to arrange moments of fate, while still being mostly honest about their origins.

It is doomed to fail because the Human would never leave their own planet. I guess this is equivocation, as the goal of sailing off into the stars was not achievable, though winning the Human's Heart was? What happens if Glaxzbert decides to stay on Earth with their newfound love, despite the orders from their home planet – is that still a tragedy?


I would say that tragedy requires that the motivation/dream/wish is either not achieved or it is completely reversed. The motivation is the ideal, it's the 'deep down desire' the state the protagonist wants to reach. The goal is just the physical state that they can affect by their own will which the protagonist thinks can realise their dream. So a motivation might be 'be famous' and the goal might be 'become an A-list actor' or 'make a viral video'. The motivation should be dependant on (or at least the protagonist should believe it is dependant on) the goal.

If Glaxzbert achieves their 'dream' of the human loving them, then the goal didn't matter at all... they still acheived their dream. So it isn't a tragedy.

But lets say Glaxzbert succesfully achieves their goal. They convince the human to fly off into space, thinking that by achieving their goal, they necessarily achieve their motivation. But it turns out that the human doesn't love them... they only agreed to fly off into space as a fiend. That could be considered a tragedy, though a very 'lesser' one, especially since they might fall in love later on.

Similarly if we reverse Glaxzbert's motivation and goal, it could be a tragedy. Lets say they don't care about the love bit, they just want to fly through space with this human for some reason. They think that the best way to convince this human to fly off into space with them is to make them fall in love! This is under the rationale that if the human loved them they couldn't say no, right? So Glaxzbert works on making the human love them and they succeed, they've achieved their goal. Now their dream is only a step away from being achieved, right? But then they find out that even though the human loves them, they don't want to leave. This could be considered tragedy too, though again a lesser tragedy.

Ultimately when it comes down to it, the 'goal' is a means to an end. It is the means with which achieving the 'dream' becomes possible. If a person just wants to be famous, but they could be famous without being an actor, they wouldn't care that they're not an actor. That being said it the character wants to be an actor, maybe they just love acting, then their goal might directly be 'become an actor' in which case the motivation and goal are the same thing.

If Glaxzbert decides to stay on Earth with their newfound love within the narrative itself (as in, before the story ends) then I wouldn't call it a tragedy. But there might be tragedies out there that have a possible resolution in the future that are still tragedies because, at least when the story ends, things suck.

In this sense you could say there are two broad categories of tragic result. Lets call the first 'final tragedies', these a tragedies where 'the damage is done', people dying, people suffering, things being destroyed, etc. These are tragedies where no extra narrative can really 'undo' what has happened. Lets call the second 'tragic states' these are 'states of being' or 'status quos' which are tragic for the character, like not being loved. They might theoretically be loved in the future, so 'tragic states' are lesser tragedies than 'final tragedies'. Now if there is some ressurection spell, time travel, or crazy 'fix everything' magic that is readily available in the story then we can consider 'final tragedies' as being 'tragic states'. Similarly if it is made very clear that the 'tragic state' IS final, then we could consider those 'final tragedies'.
"Give up here?"
- > No
"Do you accept defeat?"
- > No
"Do you think games are silly little things?"
- > No
"Is it all pointless?"
- > No
"Do you admit there is no meaning to this world?"
- > No


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