Skip to content

Kirtu: Tragi-Comedy or Pure Tragedy?

January 15, 2009

I know they say that we laugh and cry about the same things, but I really have a hard time seeing the following summation of the Ugaritic story of Kirtu by Baruch Margalit as anything other than macabre:

Keret is miserable a the beginning of the story for want of a son and heir; he is equally miserable at its conclusion precisely because of his son and heir. If the curse were not so funny—Yaṣṣib examining his teeth in the cup of his hand—the ending would indeed be sad. This is the essence of the poem as tragi-comedy, mixing the tears of laughter with those of pain.

(B. Maraglit, “The Legend of Keret,” Handbook of Ugaritic Studies, 214.)

To me, the story of Kirtu is tragic, pure and simple—an old king having to fight off an heir-apparent turned usurper.

Advertisements
One Comment leave one →
  1. January 15, 2009 7:04 pm

    Yeh, pure tragedy.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: