Comedy or Tragedy?
How this question is answered depends to some extent on the view taken of Winnie’s character. Is she absurdly unaware of her grim situation, forever trapped in a hellish version of eternity, or is she aware and stoically enduring? Opinion has been sharply divided on this point since the play first appeared. It could of course be argued that whatever we may think of Winnie, we are bound to be appalled by her situation and pity her decline. Even if she is seen as a clown, she becomes a tragic one in Act 2 when she is being so mercilessly reduced. The tragic emotion, however, is usually thought of as more complex than this and the nature of the protagonist is part of the complexity.
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