Tragedy and Philosophy

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This book develops a bold poetics based on the author's critical reexamination of the views of Plato.
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Overview

This book develops a bold poetics based on the author's critical reexamination of the views of Plato.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"[Kaufmann] has attempted a searching analysis of the essence of tragedy. He offers a new definition and, without raising his voice, his version of poetics as against that of Aristotle."—The New York Times

"[This] is not only a book of great importance on the fundamental problem of the aesthetics of literature, but it is vastly entertaining and informed " —Commonwealth

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691072357
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 9/21/1979
  • Pages: 480

Table of Contents

Preface (1979)
Acknowledgments
Introduction
Prologue
I Plato: The Rival as Critic
1 Before Plato 1
2 Plato's references to the Big Three 8
3 Republic 376-403 10
4 Republic VI-VII and X 17
5 Plato as a tragic poet 22
6 The Laws 25
II Aristotle: The Judge Who Knows
7 Introduction to the Poetics 30
8 Aristotle's definition of tragedy 33
9 mimesis 36
10 spoudaios (noble) 41
11 "pity and fear"? 43
12 catharsis 49
13 The six elements - spectacle and thought 52
14 plot and its primacy 55
15 hamartia and hybrid 59
16 happy end 69
III Toward a New Poetics
17 Beyond Plato and Aristotle 75
18 Imitation - and a new definition of tragedy 78
19 The work's relation to its author 87
20 The philosophical dimension 92
IV The Riddle of Oedipus
21 Three classical interpretations 102
22 The historical context 108
23 Man's radical insecurity 115
24 Human blindness 117
25 The curse of honesty 120
26 The inevitability of tragedy 126
27 Justice as problematic and the five themes 129
28 Oedipus versus Plato 133
V Homer and the Birth of Tragedy
29 How Homer shaped Greek tragedy 136
30 The gods in the Iliad 143
31 Neither belief nor dualism 148
32 The matter of weight 152
33 Man's lot 154
VI Aeschylus and the Death of Tragedy
34 Nietzsche and the death of tragedy 163
35 What we know of Aeschylus 166
36 Orestes in Homer 169
37 Aeschylus' "optimism" 174
38 How he is more tragic than Homer 180
39 Character in the Iliad and Oresteia 183
40 How tragedy did and did not die 190
VII Sophocles: Poet of Heroic Despair
41 Nietzsche and Sophocles' "cheerfulness" 195
42 Hegel's "theory of tragedy" 200
43 Ajax 212
44 Antigone 215
45 The Women of Trachis and Electra 225
46 Philoctetes and Oedipus at Colonus 232
47 Sophocles' "humanism" 236
VIII Euripides, Nietzsche, and Sartre
48 In defense of Euripides 242
49 Euripides' Electra 247
50 Was Euripides an "irrationalist"? 253
51 Nietzsche's influence on The Flies 258
52 Are Dirty Hands and The Flies tragedies? 263
IX Shakespeare and the Philosophers
53 Testing the philosophers 270
54 Aristotle and Shakespeare 272
55 Hegel on Shakespeare 279
56 Hume's essay "Of Tragedy" 287
57 Schopenhauer on tragedy 290
58 Nietzsche versus Schopenhauer 296
59 Max Scheler and "the tragic" 300
X Tragedy Today
60 Tragic events and "the merely pathetic" 309
61 Can tragedies be written today? 317
62 The Deputy as a modern Christian tragedy 322
63 Tragedy versus history: The Deputy and Soldiers 331
64 Brecht's Galileo 337
65 The Confessions of Nat Turner 347
66 The modernity of Greek tragedy; prospects 354
Epilogue 359
Chronology 364
A Note on Translations 366
Bibliography 369
Index 380
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