What Is the Definition of a Shakespearean Tragedy?


A Shakespearean tragedy is defined as a play written by William Shakespeare that tells the story of a seemingly heroic figure whose major character flaw causes the story to end with his tragic downfall. Shakespeare wrote 10 plays that are classified as “Shakespearean tragedies,” including “Hamlet” and “Macbeth.”

Many of Shakespeare’s works were actually a combination of tragedies and comedies with some historical facts and details from the era thrown into the mix. His tragedies present a main character, often a nobleman, who could be considered an absolute hero if it wasn’t for some fatal personal flaw that he was unable to overcome.