Sunday, April 05, 2009

And if He had no hamartia [character flaw] in the literal sense, there was at any rate that clash between His enviornment and Himself which is the mainspring of drama. He suffered misfortune because He was what He was and could not be otherwise; and since His time tragedy has become the tragedy of will and character, and not of an external and arbitrary destiny.
Thus far, then, a classic tragedy. But…there occurs a peripeteia [reversal of circumstances]…brought about by an anagnorisis [discovery, recognition]. The Hero is recognised for what He is: and immediately, what was the blackest human tragedy turns into Divine Comedy.
In light of this fact, the interesting question arises whether such a thing as a Christian tragedy is possible….Short of damnation, it seems, there can be no Chrisitan tragedy…where Christ is, cheerfulness will keep breaking in.
Dorothy Sayers. THE MAN BORN TO BE KING. Introduction


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