The goat-song (Greek, tragos-ode). The song that wins the goat as a prize. This is the explanation given by Horace ( De Arte Poetica, 220). (See Comedy.)
Tragedy. The first English tragedy of any merit was Gorboduc, written by Thomas Norton and Thomas Sackville. (See Ralph Roister Doister.
The Father of Tragedy. AEschylos the Athenian. (B.C. 525-426.) Thespis, the Richardson of Athens, who went about in a waggon with his strolling players, was the first to introduce dialogue in the choral odes, and is therefore not unfrequently called the “Father of Tragedy or the Drama.”
Thespis was first who all besmeared with lee, Began this pleasure for posterity.
Dryden: Art of Poetry (Tragedy), c. iii.
Father of French Tragedy. Garnier (1534-1590).
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894