A tragedy is a story of exceptional calamity leading to the death of a man in high estate (A.C. BRADLEY).
Tragedy: The derivation of the word 'tragedy' is uncertain. The word may come from two Greek words tragos (goat) and oide (song).
Shakespeare's plays usually classified as 'tragedies' are:
Titus Andronicus (1592)
Romeo and Juliet (1592)
Julius Caesar (1599)
King Lear (1605-06)
Timon of Athens (1605)
Antony and Cleopatra (1606)
All of Shakespeare's tragedies have a tragic hero, or 'protagonist' who is put into a situation of conflict which he must resolve. A combination of bad luck and misjudgement lead to the hero's death. He is often a man of high social standing:
Lear and Macbeth are kings
Hamlet and Othello are princes - Othello is also a military general
Coriolanus and Titus are Roman Generals
Julius Caesar and Antony are rulers of Rome
Timon and Romeo are wealthy citizens