For my contemporary tragedy, I immediately thought of Dr. Horrible from Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. For those of you who don't know what that is, I highly recommend you watch it. It is a short movie (only about 45 minutes) that stars Neil Patrick Harris, Nathan Fillion, and Felicia Day. I'm pretty sure the whole thing is on Youtube, and I know that you can stream it on Netflix. It is the story of Dr. Horrible, a villain. He is attempting to get into the Evil League of Evil, but is constantly thwarted by his nemesis, Captain Hammer, a hero. In this movie, the villain is the "good guy," the hero is the "bad guy." The audience sympathizes more with Horrible's thoughts than with Hammer's arrogance. There is also a girl who is involved with both men: Penny. She is only friends with Bobby (Horrible's mild-mannered alter ego), but becomes romantically involved with Hammer. Bobby is madly in love with her, and Hammer continues to see Penny because he knows that Horrible wants her. Horrible receives news from the League that he can be accepted if he comits an assassination. He does not want to do it (killing is not his style), but he wants to get into the League, so he decides to assassinate Hammer. Kill his nemesis, get the girl, get into the Evil League of Evil. He shows up at the opening of a building for the homeless that both Hammer and Penny are at, and he attempts to kill Captain Hammer with his Death Ray. However, it does not work, and Hammer ends up with the gun. When Hammer tries to kill Horrible, the gun explodes. Penny is killed. The Evil League of Evil considers this an assassination, and Horrible is in. However, he feels empty, and leaves the League. (Not a great summary, but that's the gist of the story).
Now, why is he tragic? I'll just list it by the requirements outlined in the King Lear packet.
Noble Stature- Dr. Horrible is not really of noble stature, he is trying to acheive it. Yet he is still an above average villain to even get considered for the Evil League of Evil. That's something. He is definitely smart too (he has a PhD in horribleness), which would give him some nobility of the mind. And his super smarts could be his extraordinary power, and he is very passionate about getting into the league. So he's kind of noble.
Good, But Not Perfect- He's a villain, so he is technically not good. But he does have good qualities, and what he is considered evil for is for wanting to reform society. Even if that means that he rules the world.
Tragic, Not Pathetic- Horrible causes his own downfall. He creates the gun that explodes and kills the one girl that he loves. He thought that he wanted to only get into the League, and that that was his life's goal, but he realized that all he actually wanted was Penny. He does end up gaining the noble stature he so desired, but he ended up giving it up because he realized he could not be happy without the girl that he loved. It was a hollow victory, so he gave it up.
Misfortune Not Wholly Deserved- He did bring down his own fall, but Horrible didn't deserve the emotional pain and loss that he got. He only wanted to be a part of something that was bigger than himself. Yes, he was attempting to kill Captain Hammer, the hero of the town, but Hammer was greedy and arrogant. He thought only of himself, and did not actually care for the citizens of the city. I don't condone killing, but neither did Horrible. He did not want to assassinate anyone, but he had to to get into the league. In his mind, he had no choice. So he attempted to assassinate Hammer, but the gun did not work, and when all was said and done, Hammer's girlfriend (Penny) was killed. It was an assassination, but an assassination of the only person that he loved.
Not Pure Loss- For Horrible, it is a pure loss. He does not die and is an empty shell of what he once was. He lost everything that he truly cared about.
Pity/Fear and Catharsis- The audience definitely pities Horrible by the end. He has lost everything that he cared about.
So Dr. Horrible is a bit tragic. He doesn't really fall, and he does lose everything. However, he does seem to meet most of the other requirements that make a tragedy, at least in some way. From my sparse description, would you say that he's tragic?