Georg Engel's Leistungskurs Englisch 2006/08 To learn or not to learn, that is the question...

Unit 3 Macbeth

Text 2

The Nature of Tragedy

The whole range of dramatic expression of human life is bordered by the two great types of tragedy and commedy, a fact often symbolized by the two masks....

Here is the part you should try to translate:

The tragic hero must be a man great and admirable in both his powers and opportunities. He must be a person so placed in society that his actions involve the well-being of all of its members.

The plot of the play should show him working to achieve some goal very dear to him. This action will involve him in choices. His downfall must be the result of a web of circumstances spun out of these choices which set off a train of events he did not or could not foresee, and which cannot be halted. He is thus caught. The hostility of his destiny may be the result of circumstances, of the activities of his enemies, or (and this is usual) some supernatural force hostile to him personally or to all humanity such as malevolent fate, the gods, Satan. When it is too late to escape, the victim comes to realize what has happened to him, and dies finally, bitter, burnt-out, and desperate.

The complete text was handed out to you in class.