Difference between Greek and Shakespearean Tragedy

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Both Greek tragedies and Shakespearean tragedies depict the collapse of a socially prominent person. Their heroes are monarchs, princes, dukes, military generals, or nobly positioned noblemen from a society.

Sophocles, Euripides, and Aeschylus were the authors of ancient Greek tragedies that were based on religious concepts. The majority of Elizabethan tragedies were composed by Marlowe and Shakespeare.

Greek tragedies always follow a beginning, middle, and conclusion structure, whereas Shakespearean tragedies do not. A Shakespearean tragedy can begin in any given scenario.

Greek tragedies were founded on a theocentric worldview and mostly dealt with religious themes in which supernatural forces controlled fate and it was impossible for the protagonist to escape it. In Greek tragedies, the downfall of the protagonist is owing to a role played by fate.

In Shakespearean tragedy, the character is fate; an individual’s downfalls are the result of his or her character. In the play Othello, the protagonist’s demise was caused by his own error in judgment, which resulted in the death of his beloved wife out of excessive jealously. Shakespeare thought that a hero’s demise is not solely determined by fate, but also by his own poor judgment.

Greek tragedies had a restricted number of characters, often three, but Shakespearean tragedies have an adequate number of characters on stage.

In both tragedies, female characters were not permitted on stage, but male actors played the feminine roles.

In Greek tragedies, the chorus participates in the performance and sings to depict certain scenes, such as the scene of bloodshed or the prologue. A chorus is a band that performs solely singing and dancing and does not take part in any other acts of the performance.

Tragedies written by Shakespeare do not contain chorus bands.

Greek tragedies had a single storyline, but Shakespearean plays have several narratives.

Greek tragedies adhere to three unities: the unity of action, unity of time, and unity of place, but Shakespearean plays do not.

There is no room for humorous episodes in Greek tragedies, yet Shakespearean tragedies have such scenes. In Greek tragedies, the Chorus provides the audience respite, but in Shakespearean tragedies, comedic sequences give the audience relief.

Shakespearean plays make extensive use of supernatural aspects, such as the employment of witches in Macbeth and the ghost in Hamlet. While the Greeks eschewed these components.


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