VII Shakespeare's Hamlet, Macbeth, King Lear and Julius Caeser; Christopher Marlowe’s Tamburlaine , Doctor Faustus and Jew of Malta, besides a number of other tragic plays that best illustrate the changes in the concept of tragedy during this period. Almost all the Elizabethan tragic dramatists wrote their plays with complete disregard to the classical rules, especially Aristotle's unities of time and action and later on the unity of place the Renaissance critics promulgated. They did, however, draw a lot from the Roman tragedian, Seneca, especially the taste for heaping horror upon horror. In this respect, Thomas kyd's, The Spanish Tragedy can be considered an example of neo - Senecan 'Tragedy of Blood.' The chapter is rounded off with a discussion of the state of tragedy during the intervening period between the second half of the seventeenth century and the beginning of the twentieth century. This discussion forms the third section. Chapter Two tackles this concept in modern British drama. It falls into two sections. The first section tackles the concept of tragedy in the pre- World War II drama. The first part of this section expounds the viewpoints of a number of modern British dramatists as to how a tragedy should be written in modern times. The plays tackled in the second part are G.B. Shaw's Saint Joan, G.M. Synge's Riders to the Sea, W.B. Yeats' The Herne's Egg, and T.S. Eliot's The Cocktail Party. These plays demonstrate the different approaches, which the dramatists adopt in tackling modern man's problems. The discussion of the concept of tragedy in post-war drama is the major concern of the second section. The major dramatic movement that dominates post- war drama is The Theatre of Absurd. In fact, the dramatic conventions that mark this theatre serve primarily to shatter the traditional conventions of the naturalistic or fourth-wall drama: sequential plot, VIII dialogue, and realistic characters and setting. The section is concluded with an analysis of Samuel Beckett's Endgame, which conveys the tragic sense in modern man's experience, which emerges as a reaction to the collapse of moral and social values in the modern western culture. The tragic sense is also prevalent in the plays of the Angry Young Men Movement .The discussion of this sense is the major concern of the second part of the second section of this Chapter. An analysis of John Osborne's The Entertainer is presented in the second part. This play emphasizes the general decay of western culture and spiritual values and the sense of bewilderment in modern man's life. Chapter Three deals with the concept of tragedy in modern American drama. The first section of this chapter deals with the tragic vision of the modern American dramatists and the reasons behind their tendency to write tragic plays. The second section is devoted to the discussion of a number of American tragic plays; namely, Eugene O'Neill's Beyond the Horizon and Mourning Becomes Electra, Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman and A View from the Bridge, and Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie and A Streetcar Named Desire. The reason behind choosing two plays by each dramatist lies in the fact that the concept of tragedy in the proper sense of the word is more clearly defined in the second play. The study is rounded off with a Conclusion that states the main findings of the study.
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