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If The Old Testament did trigger the tragic vision leading to sorrow, despair and separation, The New Testament, on the other hand, brought about a comic vision based on solidarity, sharing, reconciliation and reunion. Both together helped to develop a tragi-comic vision in which the tragic potentials are neutralised by what William Blake called ‘Mercy, Pity, Peace and Love’ in his poem THE DIVINE IMAGE.

To Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love
All pray in their distress;
And to these virtues of delight
Return their thankfulness.

For Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love
Is God, our father dear,
And Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love
Is Man, his child and care.

For Mercy has a human heart,
Pity a human face,
And Love, the human form divine,
And Peace, the human dress.

Then every man, of every clime,
That prays in his distress,
Prays to the human form divine,
Love, Mercy, Pity, Peace.

And all must love the human form,
In heathen, Turk, or Jew;
Where Mercy, Love, and Pity dwell
There God is dwelling too.

Two tragicomedies I love specially are The Tempest and Winter’s Tale by the Great Bard, William Shakespeare. My friends will remember that The Tempest inspired me to write Toufann in my mother tongue ( and now it also exists in English, French and Japanese.
If in lay literature tragicomedies are very important sources of education and entertainment, I have always thought that the most poignant tragicomic moment is found in a religious literature classic, The New Testament.
When Jesus knows he is about to die on the cross, he goes through a very brief moment of ‘DEEP DESPAIR’ (And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Matthew 27:46) only to realise that the essence of life is, to quote William Blake, ‘Mercy, Pity, Peace and Love’. Jesus, the avatar of Vishnu, then said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34)
For me this is the greatest tragicomic moment in the history of ‘mankind’. AND JESUS IS THE GREATEST TRAGICOMIC HERO OF ALL TIMES. AND HE IS ALSO MY GOD.



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