Thursday, July 02, 2009

Of Goats and Tragedy

Tragedy comes from the Greek word for "goat song". The word derived from a choral outpouring of song (lamentation) to accompany the Spring-time sacrifice of a goat (tragedy originating as a "song for dying goats", as it were; probably to and for the God Dionysus for whom in honor of the Greek drama festivals were held). Hence tragedy's subject matter almost invariably focuses (today and in 5th Century Athens) on an individuals fall/defeat/death/sacrifice as a redemptive (albeit tragic) act of societal renewal; a tragic lesson learned and applied: a "human goat" sacrificed and sung about to "honor the Gods" and bring in the renewal of Spring: to fulfill society's perpetual need for renewed hope and possibility.


Post a Comment

<< Home