a further disection of Rumplestiltskin’s tragedy written with the lense of season 3 episode 11 in mind so spoiler!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Act the First: Manhattan. A poor spinner, Rumpelstiltskin gets to be a soldeir in the ogre wars which he is originally excited because he can cure the terrible reputation of his father Malcolm (side note did the villagers in his town ever wonder where Malcolm absconded to after Rumpelstiltskin returned?)
This honour and the name of family was very important to both feudal society like Enchanted Forest and to Greek society. Your family’s honour determined your status as a man and a citizen. (granted in the Enchanted Forest it seems women had more rites than they did in those other cultures)
Rumpelstiltskin gets the word from the seer that his actions on the battlefiled would leave his son fatherless.
This is very akin to several prophesies of an oracle at delphi or even if we look through a Shakespeare lense to the tragedy of Macbeth and the witches.
The Crocodile: Rumpel’s wife leaves, and Rumpel takes revenge on her and the pirate Killian Jones.
This aspect of revenge is another key theme to tragedy (not sure of other examples but Hamlet comes to mind)
Desperate souls (well this one has been recounted already)
Nasty Habits: Rumpelstiltskin confronts the Pied Piper Peter Pan who tricks him and further widens the gap between Rumpel and Baelfire, Baelfire can hear music of the unloved, which in intself is tragic because I think that we can clearly see that Rumpel loves Baelfire.
The Return Rumpelstiltskin loses Baelfire and makes his vow (vows are very important in tragedy I think every Shakespeare tragedy I have read can be said to have one and I am less familiar with greek tragedies but I think this might be a feature there as well) “I will do nothing else, I will love nothing else”
Miller’s Daughter: Rumpel manipulates and falls in love with cora, she rips out her own heart. This relationship had no potential to work, because Rumpel was teaching her to be as magic crazed as himself.
Skin Deep: Rumpelstiltskin makes a deal for Belle (nota good first move) they eventually fall in love, however due to Rumpel not revelaing everything to Belle she runs into Regina and Regina convinces her to have true love’s kiss with Rumpel. when this happens, Rumpel starts to lose his power and pushes her away. Instead of revealing the real reason he is afraid of losing his power he focuses ont he secondary reason of his power means more to him than she does. She responds “all you will have is an empty heart and a chipped cup.”
Most of the modern day in Storybrooke can be summarised with the phrase Rumeplstiltskin acts in order ot get what he wants. In Neverland his motives are ambiguous in the Nasty Habits epsiode at first, but gradually we learn that he really did want to save Henry despite wanting to kill him a few days ago.
Finally in Going Home we get the grand conclusion to Rumpel’s tragedy: He confronts his father his weakness, and he sacrifices himself for the townspeople who are truly his friends. He says a sad and solemn farewell to Belle and Baelfire. He then stabs himself and Pan going into…
Well thats my best aproximation of a tragic analysis.
Magic always comes with a price, so I pay with visa.