(Image from Life is Beautiful, 1997)
If you’re going to write a tragedy, infuse your story with humor. Humor pulls us towards the characters and makes us care. It also ensures that your ending will resonate.
Tragedy is not about a death – it is about the context of that death. Tragedy isn’t about someone dying – it’s about a character recognizing the error of his ways when it’s too late. Death isn’t tragic; it’s inevitable. It’s the context of the death that illustrates the theme. We understand hubris, false piety, vanity, the desire to save the world, and how these traits can lead to our downfall. The tragedy of Mercutio’s death in Romeo and Juliet lies not in the act of him dying, but in the pointlessness of it, and in how his pride underscores the theme.