Tragedy, etymological features
(Greek: tragoidia, a compound of tragos, "goat" and aeidein, "to sing"; goat song)
Reasons for calling this dramatic form, "goat song", are obscure
The word tragedy developed in the sixth and fifth centuries B.C. as a result of the performances of the original lyric recitations.
- It is generally believed that the origin of tragedy came from Greek tragoidia, a compound of tragos, "goat", and aeidein, "to sing".
- A dramatic poem or play in formal or stately language and action having an unhappy resolution; literally, "goat song".
- Theories have been proposed to explain the connection with a goat.
- One being that the actors or singers in Greek tragedies were originally dressed in goatskins to represent satyrs (goat-like woodland deities), and thereby became actors in satyric drama from which tragedy was later developed.
- Alternatively, a goat might have been the prize for the best acting performance.
- The generalized sense of a part of drama that deals with or includes tragedies is first recorded in Middle English in 1412-20.
- The figurative sense of an unhappy event, calamity, or disaster, is found in 1509.
The unit of tragedy words.