Tragedy and Philosophy


This book develops a bold poetics based on the author's critical reexamination of the views of Plato.
Read More Show Less
... See more details below
Available through our Marketplace sellers.
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (1) from $123.80   
  • Used (1) from $123.80   
Sort by
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any coupons and promotions
Seller since 2010

Feedback rating:



New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.

Very Good
Very Good Ships from the UK. Former Library book. Great condition for a used book! Minimal wear. Your purchase also supports literacy charities. *****PLEASE NOTE: This item is ... shipping from an authorized seller in Europe. In the event that a return is necessary, you will be able to return your item within the US. To learn more about our European sellers and policies see the BookQuest FAQ section***** Read more Show Less

Ships from: Dunfermline, United Kingdom

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Sort by
Sending request ...


This book develops a bold poetics based on the author's critical reexamination of the views of Plato.
Read More Show Less

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

Read More Show Less

Product Details

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

Table of Contents

Preface (1979)
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
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)