Random thoughts

How To Tell If You’re In A Greek Tragedy

"Mask youngster Louvre S3044" by Marie-Lan Nguyen - Own work. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mask_youngster_Louvre_S3044.jpg#/media/File:Mask_youngster_Louvre_S3044.jpgEver felt as though your life were actually a Greek tragedy? Inspired by The Toast’s “How To Tell What Novel You’re In“, Res Gerendae presents a handy guide to establishing whether this is the case. If one or more of the following apply to you, you may well be a tragic character, and are advised to consult a literary scholar immediately (there will be nothing they can do to stop the inexorable progress of your fate, but they may be able to get a conference paper out of it). Additional symptoms missing from this list may be reported in the comments.

Woe is you. You are wretched and your life is miserable.

You are explaining at great length to a sympathetic but ultimately not particularly bothered group of people that your life is miserable, and probably also wretched.

You are being horribly murdered inside a house; a group of people are standing outside and debating whether or not to do anything about this. Eventually they will decide not to. In the meantime you carry on being horribly murdered.

You are chained to a rock.

Everything you say has to fit into one line, even if this means missing out half of the words in the sentence.

Until you get VERY upset, when you are allowed to take several lines at once. Or, in extreme circumstances, to start singing.

Despite this, your life is still miserable. And wretched.

People keep trying to make you into a feminist icon. You wish they wouldn’t. You’re the product of a patriarchal society expressing its deep-seated misogyny, and happy that way. Or at least you would be if your life wasn’t miserable.

You are still chained to a rock.

You never refer to a person by their name or title if you can possibly refer to them as their own head.

In fact, you never refer to anything by its actual description if you can possibly use a metonymy. Or failing that a synecdoche. Although you’re not entirely sure what the difference is.

The effort involved in producing all of this metaphorical language is making you wretched.

You go everywhere in buskins. You’re not sure why.

You fly off in a chariot pulled by dragons, just because you can.

You are one of a group of people who spends most of their time singing songs about mythological characters who appear to have nothing at all to do with the action going on around you. You are sure there is some deeper meaning behind this.

You are being trampled/torn apart/mutilated by your horses/your mother/yourself (delete according to preference).

You are still chained to a rock. This isn’t looking likely to change any time soon.

Your life is miserable and you are wretched. Woe is you.

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2 thoughts on “How To Tell If You’re In A Greek Tragedy

  1. You have recently been turned into a cow.

    You or someone you know has been whisked out of a dangerous situation and replaced with either a deer or a ghost version of themselves.

    A number of very dramatic things have happened today, but you have not seen any of them. All such events have been described to you at length by someone you’ve never met before. Or a nurse.

  2. Pingback: Breakfast with Kirke | Writ, Ritual, and Revelation

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