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Seneca and the Idea of Tragedy
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Seneca and the Idea of Tragedy

Gregory A. Staley


As both a literary genre and a view of life, tragedy has from the very beginning spurred a dialogue between poetry and philosophy. Plato wanted to ban tragedians from his ideal community because he believed that they dabbled in the philosopher’s business but had no “idea” what they were doing. Aristotle set out to answer Plato’s objections by arguing that fiction offers a faithful image of the truth and promotes emotional health through the mechanism of catharsis. This book argues that Aristotle’s definition of tragedy actually had its greatest impact not on Greek tragedy itself but on the lat ... More

Keywords: tragedy, idea, Aristotle, Plato, Seneca, Sir Philip Sidney, image, catharsis, Stoic

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2009 Print ISBN-13: 9780195387438
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195387438.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Gregory A. Staley, author
University of Maryland, College Park
Author Webpage

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