Bite Sized Philosophy, 11 July 2015: Tragedy

In my experience, growing up in a culture of entertainment and stories, reading Agatha Christie Sherlock Holmes, you expect it all to be resolved at the end. There is a beginning and an end; and at the end, at the end of some traumatic event or mystery or murder or theft or rape, whatever tragedy, the wits of the protagonist are tested until breaking point and then it dawns on them.

By the time the monologue is finished, they understand it all. How foolish they had been! And how neatly do they summarize it all; the motive, the criminal, the method, crime, the how and why of it all. In my life, and in human life in general, I don’t think it works like that. Not always.

There are no clear-cut protagonists here, no three act script with an appendix, no denouement set-up for us to one day ‘get it.’ We were not brought upon this Earth to ‘get it.’ And when our wits are tested, when we are tested, tested harder and harder unto breaking, we don’t elasticate, not always, or re-solidify; we just break more. The point of rest and only glimpse of understanding we achieve then is the extension of our breaking.

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