We find two kinds of responses that tragedy offers. First, to take the experience as a grim reminder of ‘the special providence in the fall of a sparrow’, to borrow a phrase from Hamlet, and, thus, to remain in awe of unknown forces working against man and his purposes. Or to consider the experience as a result of personal imperfection that can be corrected in all probability. The first choice has a practical completeness about it, while the second emanates from a mind agitated and resentful.
The spiral contour that the narrative of life takes upon itself is made possible because the blighting experience of tragedy inevitably makes us rise up again and take up lost causes, subverting, as it were, the Sophoclean chorus’ verdict.