A tragedy is a dramatic work that is based on human suffering and results in a sense of catharsis or pleasure for the audience.
The term comes from Ancient Greek theatre where tragedy was the opposing theatre form to comedy. Typical tragic plays usually focus on the misfortunes of a hero (usually the flawed protagonist). Usually the subject matter is serious and the ending may involve the death or downfall of one or more characters.
Tragedies may be categorised in sub-forms including Greek or Roman tragedy, tragicomedy, revenge tragedy, and heroic tragedy.
In a modern sense, comedy refers to any dramatic work that aims to be humorous. Basically, it's a dramatic form designed to make you laugh.
The origins of the term are found in Ancient Greece, where the form emerged as the opposite theatre form to tragedy.
There are many sub-forms of comedy including satire, melodrama, and black-comedy.
We can classify drama into different types/modes including:
There are two basic theatre genres: Tragedy and Comedy.
Tragedy and Comedy, as the roots of western theatre, have their origins in Ancient Greek Theatre.
Form refers to the compositional structure or structures that shape a dramatic work; or a broad category of drama.
Within a form, there may be a broad range of styles. For example, puppetry is a form, and glove puppets, marionettes, and shadow puppets are styles.
Style refers to the particular procedure by which something is done. In theatre, style refers to the way that the elements are put together within the theatre form.
Theatrical styles are influenced by the context in which they were constructed. The context can refer to the time and place, artistic and other social influences, and the individual style of the particular artist or artists involved at the time that the theatre style evolved.
Theatrical style can transcend the confines of a script and the context in which a show was created as it is also influenced by the context at the time of performance. For example, Shakespeare is commonly associated with the style of Classical Theatre; but this doesn't mean it has to be performed in that style today.
The style results from the way in which a play is presented in the theatre. This is dictated by the way that a play is directed and acted, as well as the technologies (set, costume, props, lighting, etc) that are used.
An important point to conclude:
There is a lot of confusing, conflicting information out there about dramatic genre, form and style. There are two reasons for this: firstly, sometimes people just put the wrong information on the internet; and, secondly, some of these things have evolved and changed over time, meaning different information is relevant to different periods.