Called Out

A key to artistic expression!


Being “called out” is one of the very important concepts of life and of drama. Recently, it has taken on extra significance in that journalism seems to have adopted as a political standard the metaphor of being called out by an opponent as to a duel.

This modern signification has extensive historical precedent. But “called out” has even more anciently meant “called out from.” In that meaning, “called out” can often almost routinely be contrasted with “cast out,” and forms a significant role in defining the difference between the dark voyage of tragedy and the golden mean of comedy.


Marriage routinely calls out from a previous child-parent relationship, and thus comedy that moves toward marriage moves toward a theme of being called out. Shakespeare’s Comedy of Errors complicates this with a theme of “called out from error.” Jane Austen deepens the theme in being called out from pride and from prejudice. 

Tragedy, on the other hand, is often a matter of being cast out: Macbeth is cast out from the felicity of loyal heroism by the witches’ enticing prophesies; Othello is cast out of felicity by Iago’s insinuations; Lear is cast out into the storm of naked human endurance; Hamlet is cast out from his legitimate destiny as heir apparent.

For further reading, see

Macbeth, Encyclopaedia Britannica.


“Comparison and Contrast in Critical Thinking.” 


“The Comedy of Errors Plot Summary.” 


“Saroyan—American Dark Comedy.”


Pride and Prejudice, Spark Notes.