When Tragedy
meets Comedy.

Joseph Campbell

From Joseph Campbell's "HERO WITH A THOUSAND FACES", essay on Tragedy and Comedy, pages 28- 29, Princeton University Press.

"The happy ending of the fairy tale, the myth, and the divine comedy of the soul, is to be read, not as a contradiction, but as a transcendence of the universal tragedy of man. The objective world remains what it was, but, because of a shift of emphasis within the subject, is beheld as though transformed. Tragedy is the shattering of the form and of our attachment to the form; comedy, the wild and careless, inexhaustible joy of life invincible. Thus the two are the terms of a single mythological theme and experience which includes them both and which they both bound: the down-going and the up-coming. It is the business of mythology proper, and of fairy tale, to reveal the specific dangers and techniques of the dark interior way from tragedy to comedy."

Christopher Vogler

From "THE WRITER'S JOURNEY" by Christopher Vogler, Published by Michael Wiese Productions: www.mwp.com

"Many fairy tales begin with the death of a family member. This subtraction from the family unit sets the nervous energy of the story in motion, not to stop until the balance has been restored by the creation of a new family, or the reuniting of the old."


*OVID, "METAMORPHOSES", XV, 165-167; 184-185 {translation by Frank Justus Miller, the Loeb Classical Library}.

*""All things are changing; nothing dies. The spirit wanders, comes now here, now there, and occupies whatever frame it pleases.""


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