Professor Leech considers the significance of the term 'Tragedy' as it has been used from classical times to the present day. He gives examples of tragic writing from a wide variety of dramatic literatures and relates theoretical writings on tragedy and the tragedies that have been contemporaneous with them. Free reference is made to critics from Aristotle to these of the present. Special stress is laid on the tragedies of the Greeks, of Renaissance writers and of our immediate contemporaries, notably Harold Pinter and Tom Stoppard. There is also discussion of tragic writing in the modern novel.