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Why Does Tragedy Give Pleasure?
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Why Does Tragedy Give Pleasure?

A. D. Nuttall

Abstract

Why does tragedy give pleasure? Why do people who are neither wicked nor depraved enjoy watching plays about suffering or death? Is it because we see horrific matter controlled by majestic art? Or because tragedy actually reaches out to the dark side of human nature? This wide-ranging, lively and engaging book offers a new answer to this perennial question. The ‘classical’ answer to the question is rooted in Aristotle and rests on the unreality of the tragic presentation: no one really dies; we are free to enjoy watching potentially horrible events controlled and disposed in majestic sequence ... More

Keywords: tragedy, pleasure, art, human nature, Aristotle, Nietzsche, Greek tragedy, unreason, Freud

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2001 Print ISBN-13: 9780198187660
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198187660.001.0001

Authors

Affiliations are at time of print publication.

A. D. Nuttall, author
New College, Oxford

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