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Ibsen's Drama: Right Action and Tragic Joy

Overview

Ibsen’s Drama: Right Action and Tragic Joy argues that in his late plays, Ibsen struggled with and finally repudiated the Aristotelian ideas of reality and change that held sway over the earlier part of his career, and more generally over nineteenth century drama and culture. The first chapter analyzes Aristotle’s Poetics, which centers on the classical relation of catharsis, rational agency, and intelligible change in human affairs. The second chapter presents Nietzsche’s transformation of those topics into a ...

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Overview

Ibsen’s Drama: Right Action and Tragic Joy argues that in his late plays, Ibsen struggled with and finally repudiated the Aristotelian ideas of reality and change that held sway over the earlier part of his career, and more generally over nineteenth century drama and culture. The first chapter analyzes Aristotle’s Poetics, which centers on the classical relation of catharsis, rational agency, and intelligible change in human affairs. The second chapter presents Nietzsche’s transformation of those topics into a modernist poetics and a modernist agenda for living. The rest of the book analyzes Ghosts, Rosmersholm, and The Master Builder and relates Ibsen’s formal, intellectual, and cultural innovations in these plays to Nietzsche’s assault on the Aristotelian humanism that Victorian Europe valued so highly.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“This is the best book on Ibsen I have read in years.” —Brian Johnston, Comparative Drama

“. . . a bright new addition to the major critical works on Ibsen . . .” —Essays in Theatre

Booknews
This is the paperbound edition of a 1996 work that situates Henrik Ibsen and his plays within the sweep of western culture. The author teaches at Harvard University and is editor of . After study of Aristotle's Poetics and Nietzsche's impact, Theoharis applies his analysis of their themes to close readings of and . Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312221492
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 4/28/1999
  • Edition description: REV
  • Pages: 322
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.72 (d)

Meet the Author

Theoharis C. Theoharis teaches at Harvard University and is Editor of The Boston Book Review.

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Table of Contents

Action in Aristotle
• Reality and Change
• Poetics
• Action in Nietzsche
• Reality and Change
• Nietzschean Poetics
Ghosts: The Sick Will
Rosmersholm: Managing the Past
The Master Builder: Act One
• Act Two
• Act Three

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