Post Eagle Newspaper

Monday

Feb 26, 2024

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New Jersey

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12:00:00

COMEDY and TRAGEDY

The words COMEDY and TRAGEDY refer to the plays in stories and theater; written originally by the Greek, and then, Roman authors. The origin of each word is part and parcel of every day Greek life. The Greeks celebrated a spring time festival in honor of the god of wine whose name was DIONYSUS (BACCHUS – in Latin). Each spring, with the rebirth of crops, the Greeks worshipped Dionysus who in Greek mythology resurrects. He was a sex symbol but unfortunately was torn to pieces by the very nymphs who lived with him. Since he lived a life of drinking and lasciviousness, the grape became his very symbol. So each spring when the grape vine began to bud, the Greeks paraded in his honor.

COMEDIA is the word for the front part of the parade and this always made the people laugh because the youths, dressed only in red thongs, would flash and show their privy parts while pretending to be the potent Dionysus. Hence, we have the word COMEDY which brings laughter. The succeeding parts of the parade were serious and did not evoke the mirth that the flashers did.

Goats are everywhere in Greece and probably the most common of the milk-giving animal. When a goat is slaughtered, it emits such a shrill and nerve racking cry which is so human that it chills your bones. The word TRAGEKOS means THE CRY OF THE GOAT. Stories that are sad, morose and depressing are called TRAGEDY because they are so shocking as the death cry of the goat.