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Ideas and Forms of Tragedy from Aristotle to the Middle Ages

Overview

"Tragedy" has been understood in a variety of conflicting ways over the centuries, and the term has been applied to a wide range of literary works. In this book, H. A. Kelly explores the various meanings given to tragedy, from Aristotle's most basic notion (any serious story, even with a happy ending), via Roman ideas and practices, to the Middle Ages, when Averroes considered tragedy to be the praise of virtue, but Albert the Great thought of it as the recitation of the foul deeds of degenerate men. Professor Kelly demonstrates the importance of ...
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Overview

"Tragedy" has been understood in a variety of conflicting ways over the centuries, and the term has been applied to a wide range of literary works. In this book, H. A. Kelly explores the various meanings given to tragedy, from Aristotle's most basic notion (any serious story, even with a happy ending), via Roman ideas and practices, to the Middle Ages, when Averroes considered tragedy to be the praise of virtue, but Albert the Great thought of it as the recitation of the foul deeds of degenerate men. Professor Kelly demonstrates the importance of finding out what writers like Horace, Ovid, Dante, and Chaucer meant by the term, and how they used it as a tool of interpretation and composition. Referring to a wealth of texts, he shows that many modern analyses of ancient and medieval concepts and works are oversimplified and often result in serious misinterpretations. The book ends with surveys of works designated as tragedies in England, France, Italy, and Spain.
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Product Details

Table of Contents

Preface
List of abbreviations
1 Greek and Roman poetics 1
1 Aristotle on the tragic in general 1
2 The Roman tradition 5
2 Modes and subjects of Roman tragedy 16
1 Ways of performing tragedy 16
2 Tragedies read, tragedies lived 23
3 Rash generalizations of tragic themes 27
3 Early medieval clues and conjectures 36
1 Isidore of Seville 36
2 Remigius and Remigians 50
3 Non-Remigians, Senecans, Horatians, and later Isidorians 57
4 Papias the protolexicographer 64
4 The twelfth-century scene 68
1 William of Conches and the commentaries on Boethius 68
2 Metaphorical tragedy 78
3 Tragic style and new tragedies 92
4 Continuing tradition: the lexicographers 103
5 The high Middle Ages: discoveries and oblivions 111
1 Aristotle: a lost opportunity 111
2 Nicholas Trevet on Boethius and Seneca 125
3 Seneca at Padua 134
4 Dante and his commentators 144
5 Boethius in French 157
6 Final variations 169
1 England: Chaucer and the future 170
2 Laments in France 175
3 Italian Latinists 185
4 Theory and practice in Spain 194
Conclusion 218
Bibliography 223
Index 244
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