I have spent the morning looking at two explinations of 'tragic' in terms of personal responses to choices concerning values - values that are and for the examples will remain incommensurated. One results in a feeling of loss, the other of regret.
The latter is firmly intrenched in a moral code, where it is the transgresion of the code that is regretted. It is regretted because it was, in the given situation, unavoidable in that all options open to the agent resulted in transgressions of their moral code, and yet the agent desired not to break their moral code. The good intention unable to be fulfilled is the source of the tragic in this case.
The former is more of an intuitionalist approach, where it is the loss of something valuable that is felt. This situation is tragic for the similar reason that all options open to the agent resulted in loss, and the agent was well aware of the losses attached to each choice, none of which were seen as acceptable in the light of the other choices. This version, I want to say, has some kind of parallel with ideas of amputation, for the loss is personal as opposed to the 'regret' form, where there seems a closer parallel with guilt.
Both systems produce unhappy concepts due to their guilded roofs being built on rotting foundations, but one foundation is society and its morals, while the other is the self in an inclusive sense. If anyone has any suggestions as to how to link these two ideas I am most interested.