Another blogger describes tragedy as "a mode of transportation for moral lessons to society", which I find extremely interesting. When we read these tragic tales we think "Oh, how terrible!" but subconsciously we are thinking, "Oh, I would not and will not ever do something like this!" You see, we are learning from these tales and they are delivering moral lessons to us. It's not the tragic event, but the lesson we learn from it. Let's take Romeo and Juliet for example. Looking at tragedy in this new light we discover that it is not the fact that they fall into forbidden love and eventually die, it's the thoughts we have after of, "That would never happen to me." It's the "lesson", so to speak, that we learn. That's the tragic part.
Krutch has an intriguing thought when he says "If a teenager is shot at random in a drive-by shooting, his death does not count as a literary tragedy because the victim did nothing to bring such misfortune upon himself." That one will throw your brain for a loop. Everything we had previously thought about tragedy would lead us to believe that this is one of the most tragic things we have ever heard. But in fact, there is nothing tragic about it. There is no lesson to be learned from it because the teenager did nothing to deserve being shot. This act is no longer a tragic occurrence, just a terribly sad one. Thinking about tragedy in this way allows us to redefine the word itself. It is no longer what we thought before.