Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Wounded Heroes$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Marina Berzins McCoy

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199672783

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199672783.001.0001

Tragedy, Katharsis, and Community in Aristotle’s Poetics

Chapter:
(p.168) (p.169) 7 Tragedy, Katharsis, and Community in Aristotle’s Poetics
Source:
Wounded Heroes
Author(s):

Marina Berzins McCoy

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199672783.003.0007

This chapter turns to Aristotle’s discussion of tragedy and narrative in the Poetics. It examines how the public, performed aspect of tragedy and witnessing tragedy as a political community are significant for the body politic. One political function of tragedy is to enable a community to become more responsive to the vulnerable in their own midst. This chapter also provides an interpretation of Aristotle’s notion of katharsis that argues for catharsis as a form of ‘rebalancing’, not only of an individual soul, but also of the community at large. Stepping beyond Aristotle himself, the chapter argues that tragedy can enlarge a community’s vision of its own identity and the realities of its own citizens, including vulnerable citizens. Tragedy and other forms of narrative thus possess not only an aesthetic but also a political and philosophical function.

Keywords:   aristotle, catharsis, katharsis, purgation, poetics, tragedy, narrative, pity, fear, reversal, imagination, practical reasoning, greek medicine, health, polis, theatre, performance, character, community

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .