Tragedy and Comedy


Written by Muhammad Natsir Tahar

What can make us laugh, tragedy or comedy? All of people –except they connoisseurs of suffering or massochist- will choose comedy. Tragedy and comedy are two huge dichotomously theme on canvas of our live.  

Tragedy and comedy, Aristotle said are shape of emulate way to their nature. We seem to be forbidden from laughing, because Aristotle has sided with tragedy. 

Western Philosophy heightens the tragedy of comedy. But Eastern Philosophy  such as Buddhism or Zen nullify it: break away from letting go of tragedy and comedy. To distinguise between Eastern Philosophy and Nihilsm of Nietzsche is, Nietzsche ’s denial of the ultimate purposes of life.

So how about mystics and sufism, both have declared themselves to be out of philosophy, or actually had moved to Eastern Philosophy. 

Eastern Philosophy is heavy, need particular practice, and its followers are few, because human always wanting become part of tragedy. Century by century world history is written in gold ink to gild the blood red tragedy.

Heroes and saints are drawn by history from the battlefield and sorrow. History doesn't write silly people, so history might be not write comedy.

Etymologically, tragedy comes from Greek tragoidia, ­divided from the word tragos, which means goat and aeidein, which means singing. Depicts the song that accompanies the fate of a sacrificed goat at a ritual event in ancient Greek culture.

The tragedy symbolizes the seriousness of a character as a protagonist, who seeks to examine human existential questions. Tragedy is intended to trigger cartarsis with a paradoxical response.
While comedy comes from the Greek kōmōidía meaning a funny work that is merely intended to entertain and cause laughter.

In Poetics, Aristotle called tragedy as kindness and dignity, while comedy as something inferior and contemptible. Tragedy and comedy are two big genres of performance at ancient greek. 

Behind the tragedy there are mimesis of learning and thinking, whereas in comedy there is only logic bending, even cuteness must be present from something inferior or physically and mentally disabled.

Its’s really strange, about human phenomena that amuse themselves by watching the stage of tragedy. Enjoy the sorrow and fear experienced by the protagonist, who at the end of the story succeeds in transferring the pain to antagonist player. We wait for suffering to move, we follow that suffering.

The world has filled with tragedy rather than comedy because humankind absorb sorrow of every single phenomenon they experience and always want to be involved in it.

Wallace D Wattres in his book The Science of Getting Rich was published in 1910 said, thought about war would attract much more war, as well as for plague, natural disaster, and starving. Similarity attracts similarity. This ide was popularized by Rhonda Byrne with the term Law Of Attraction (LOA).

To get rid of tragedy is to forget it at all. This planet is only a joke. Abundance could only be drawn by gratitude and joy. And happiness always comes from laughter, which has abundant source of comedy. How many people are addicted to drugs to find happiness, or having alcohol by deliberately get drunk and then forget the tragedy.   

Between us ever heard about laughing gas tragedy wich recovered by Joseph Priestley in Europe (1793). People inhale the anesthetic namely Nitrous Oxide to make them laugh.  They failed to find it in comedy. But how come to be? Are we really a kind of sadistic creatures: entertaining ourselves with tragedy.

The news that we follow the most is tragedy. The movie that we want to watch the most is violence or horror. Love and betrayal novels are always best seller. Sophocles and Shakespeare everlasting because of they wrote tragedies. 

The millenials children enjoy tragedies in the form of Mobile Legends or Clash of Clans. People with low sense of  humor were huffed to see the tragedy of a bicycle sliding into a drain. Smart people criticize tragedy in a satire way like Voltaire.

Returning to Aristotle, if comedy is considered inferior, so can tragedy be called superior? While there are parts of tragedies by people with masochist. They enjoy themselves when they are tortured, while sadist enjoy the torture they do, so both work together in sadomasochists. 

Even those who always been victim of tragedy are inferior person, not because they get a test of their wisdom, but a result of their naivete and sovereignty. 

Revers comedy in this century is a smart industry than can packaged with elegan way and few technics to manipulate audienses. That is we can see at stand up comedy show that discussed by experts. Comedian can be called genius if they are able to spend an absurd and irrational premise to blow up laughter without the need to show faces or strange movements. 

If we fail to pick the excitement from comedy, shoud we laugh at tragedies like Joker in Batman? It could, if not today maybe later. Like director Woody Allen’s formula, comedy = tragedy + time. 

This quote appeared in one of the dialogues in the movie called Crime and Misdeamanor, that what we cry and make us angry now, will make us laugh next time. Tragic?~MNT