In the Ted Talk, Dan Ariely explains his input on the reason why we as humans need to think about the decision making process that goes on in our minds. Ariely talks about his theory in why we make decisions on a daily bases and how it can relate to an everyday life situation. He doesn't really talk about tragedy, but how this can tie in with it is when he started talking about cognitive illusions/ decision making illusions, he used organ donations as a reference to illustrate his example. In European countries, there was a study shown that there is countries that show an increase in organ donations, while in other countries there is not that much people who are interested in this area. After doing some research, Ariely had came to the conclusion that there are people out there who tricks other people to get them to " sign up" for their program. That can be a sign of tragedy because people don't know what they are getting themselves into. He believes that people fall this kind of act because they just choose the answer that is already picked for them.
Oedipus is a play about a man named Oedipus who is a heroic figure and the main character of the story trying to solve the disease that is spreading around the city called Thebes, which later turns into a unraveling drama for himself and the people around him. At the beginning of the play, Thebes has a torturous plague going around which is leading to the lack of crops and has stopped everything that was once so good, now turns into people who can barely live. So Oedipus sends his brother in law/ uncle Creon, to go on a quest to see what he can find to cure the city. Once he returns he tells Oedipus that he must find the killer of the previous king in order for the town to return to the way it once was. Then once Oedipus hears this, the tables turn and the tragedy begins.
Tragedy appears when something awful has happened or when a heroic figure has caused it. In this case, Oedipus was actually the killer of his father so he could marry his mother, therefore that's what led to the suffrage in the city. For this, I think this is the strongest example where tragedy is shown in the play because Oedipus lacks wisdom and just impassive that he doesn't think of the consequences.
Arthur Miller's, Tragedy and The Common Man is about his views and understandings of tragedy and how true it is in the modern era. Miller says, "Tragedy is the consequence of a man's total compulsion to evaluate himself justly, his destruction in the attempt posits a wrong or an evil is his environment." Miller has also stated that regular people can experience and relate because of the emotions recalled by it. He justified this as anyone can be a tragic hero no matter where they come from or who they are. They are the type of people to lift themselves and everyone up in the society. Tragic hero's prepare for death in order to preserve their dignity. The hero's in tragedies are defined by them struggling to gain position in the environment they are living in. They either lose their place or wants a higher role in society and throughout the story, they will try to own their dignity. Another thing that stuck out to me in Miller's essay is when he talks about tragic flaw which means when a character is choosing to not acknowledge whatever tests their ability. This is used to make the character think about another way to look at their surroundings and perhaps the world. This flaw can lead to revelation of the meaning to the character. It can give the character time to increase their realization of their fears also to enhance the dignity they once had. And finally Miller explains that even if there is a sad ending, readers can look at it as being sanguine. It may be sad for them for a little bit, but they can look at it in another way.
My views on tragedy, more so challenged my thinking on this topic because it still seems a little difficult for me to actually get the full understanding of Tragedy. After reading this essay it made me think harder, as if tragedy is not that difficult to understand but at the same time it can be if you are trying to look deeper and comprehending it.
In the Ted Talk video, speaker Alain de Botton explains his philosophy to success. According to Botton, he stats the insights on failing and success and how tragedy comes into play with it. He starts off the video by talking about anxiety in career crisis and how much its becoming a big deal. He also states that what people thought they knew about living, comes to be a warning of actuality. Almost as if its an expectation versus the reality situation. He says, "One of the reasons why we might be suffering, is we are surrounded by snobs." Due to us having anxiety, we are interacting with people who are in snobbery. Snobbery; as Botton puts it as, is someone who only knows a little about you, would take that information that was given and judge you for who you are entirely. Basically, what ever position you hold, that would be the respect you will receive. For myself, I see this all the time. Everyday at school, there are people who have their cliques, and according to some people, there are people that would be considered "lower than them" or "above them" due to the people they hang out with and from this, it can show how some people treat people a.k.a respect them in the way they present themselves as.
Having high hopes in our careers is another sign for anxiety to form. In modern times, humans are considered equal, therefore there can be competition. This can also coincide with envy. Its more so implanted to success than failure. Today in present time we live in a society where an elite group of people think in order to be successful, it is based off of talent and ability also for people to be successful because they earned it, when really that's not the case. Basing success on the meritocratic life style is not fair because what about the people at "the bottom" or the losers? They should be eligible to be there. Its sad labeling the people at the bottom losers just because people don't think they are worth it or what we fail in. De Botton also has said that all heroic figures in tragic works, would be considered to be a loser. Because of this, tragedy is art that shows failing, as sympathy. For example the character Hamlet, is examined as a loser because of the idea of success and failure proceed from other people. We as people need to start thinking of new ways of defining failure and success as De Botton stated.
For most people when they think of tragedy; the first thing that would pop into their minds is something that is a negative outcome, a dark, sad scenario that can occur. When I think of tragedy, I think of someone who has passed away and how family and friends are mournful. Or when something evil happens to someone so joyful and humble, I feel as if that could be some kind of tragedy. But after doing some research, this is somewhat related to my ideal of tragedy.
Tragedy is a human based suffrage in a form of drama. According to Wikipedia, in Western Europe, traditional drama has played a big role as a self definition. It was sporadic but tragedy has been referred to a strong effect on cultural identity.