‘Sorrow and despair constitute a lingua franca. Yet tragedy in the artistic sense is a highly specific affair.’ In Tragedy, eminent literary critic Terry Eagleton explores the nuances of tragedy in Western culture—from literature and politics to philosophy and theatre.
His examination of the political nature of tragedy looks closely at its connection with periods of historical transition. The dramatic form, Eagleton demonstrates, originated not as a meditation on the human condition, but at moments of political engagement, when civilizations struggled with the conflicts that beset them.
Read on for an extract on tragedy as a political institution, moving from Plato and Aristotle to the German philosophers.
by Terry Eagleton
‘Eagleton, almost alone among academic literary critics of his generation, has never been afraid of asking big questions about big things.’– John Sutherland
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