Chance and coincidence in the mayor of casterbridge

I don't know how, but you did it, and so fast! I've seen the scene with the staircase, and instantly remembered everything. I will watch the whole series. My eyes are full of tears, I can't thank you enough!

Chance and coincidence in the mayor of casterbridge

When the feeling's gone and you can't go on It's tragedy! When the morning cries and you don't know why It's hard to bear! With no one to love you You're going nowhere! As a genre, tragedy is Older Than Feudalism.

It has changed quite a bit since its conception in ancient Greece, and nowadays is a dying genre Soon it will be just as dead as Irony. As you can guess from the above facetiousness, Tragedy is also as clingy as Irony and as difficult to define and apply.

It's not enough to be on the deeply cynical end and have a Twist or Downer Ending with plenty of Drama and artsy angst along the way, or have the hero's happy home life destroyed with a girlfriend raped and a dead little sister ; it has to be of an epic scope with inexorable and self-inflicted pain brought about for past sins.

And, despite all that, it also has to give the viewer closure. This last one is perhaps the hardest to capture correctly. After all is said and done, the audience should not feel impotent rage, denialconfusion, or having been cheated.

They should feel that the ending is a natural outcome to the hero's actions, and that in having faced punishment for those actions they [the audience] are purged of anxiety and worry.

Chance and coincidence in the mayor of casterbridge

The world does make sense, the guilty are punished. Aristotle 's guidelines form the basis of Tragedy, as outlined in Poetics ; here they are much abbreviated: Have a hero of great status and prosperity which is why many tragic main characters are nobles or royaltywho suffers a terrible fall, usually death.

The fall is brought on by his own Fatal Flaw and past mistakes. His character should be consistent and unchanging to make his fall inevitable, such as being Prideful or stubborn, or so good and persistent such that fixing his mistakes destroys him.

The audience has to feel catharsis at his death, an emotional "purging" where the audience should feel relief and cleansing.

Whether this catharsis is due to the schadenfreuderelief at having it better off than the character, or generally releasing pent-up anxiety is debated to this day. While you do not need The Reveal and reversal of fortune stemming from it, Aristotle considered those tragedies superior to those without it.

To borrow a simplifying example from Educating RitaMacbeth is generally considered a tragedy in literary terms because, throughout the play, Macbeth is warned time and time again by numerous parties including the universe itself that his actions will bring nothing but doom and misery upon himself and his family, but, because he is blinded by his greed and ambition, he ignores these warnings and proceeds regardless until it is much too late.

In other words, Macbeth's terrible fate could have been avoided but is ultimately inevitable because his own character flaws have made it so. On the other hand, a man who suddenly and unexpectedly gets hit and killed by a falling tree while going about his daily business isn't usually considered a tragedy in the literary sense although his loved ones will likely find it a tragedy in a personal sensebecause the man's fate isn't preordained or a result of his own character flaws; if he'd known that being at that precise spot at that precise moment in advance would have killed him, he'd have likely chosen to take a different route.

In the first example, the main character cannot escape his fate due to the circumstances he exists in and his own flaws, while, in the second, the main character's fate would have been entirely avoidable and likely avoided had he known about it in advance.

On the other hand, "tragedy" in Greek times did not need to be soul-crushingly pessimistic and have a Downer Ending ; Aristotle thought the best tragic plot had The Reveal in time for him to refrain and therefore not have the downfall.

In fact, the opposite of a tragedy originally was not a comedy, but rather an epic. Whereas an epic typically unfolds and "opens up" to a world of unknown horrors and delights for the hero to explore, a tragedy "closes down" on the hero, prohibiting him from anything else he may think to try until at the climax of the story he is forced into one all-important decision on which everything good or bad that may follow ultimately hinges.Thomas Hardy's writing is always evocative of atmosphere and filled with meaningful symbolism.

This tragic novel is no exception and once again fictional rural Wessex and the ecclesiastical center of Melchester provide the setting for two individuals who fall in love with all the circumstances of social position and differences in wealth arrayed against them. In The Mayor of Casterbridge, Hardy’s plotting relates directly to the plight of his main character: the coincidences that often serve to push the mayor closer to destruction form the machinery of a world bent, as Henchard observes time and again, on human suffering.

A summary of Themes in Thomas Hardy's The Mayor of Casterbridge. Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of The Mayor of Casterbridge and what it means.

Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans. Home The Mayor of Casterbridge Q & A coincidence and chance The Mayor of Casterbridge coincidence and chance. What role does coicdence and chance play in the story?

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And, how do they develop the plot, characters, and the many themes? We have it on his [Hardy's] own assurance that the Wessex of the novels and poems is practically identical with the Wessex of history, and includes the counties of Berkshire, Wilts[hire], Somerset, Hampshire, Dorset, and Devon — either wholly or in part.

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