Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
What Was Tragedy?Theory and the Early Modern Canon$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Blair Hoxby

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198749165

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198749165.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use (for details see www.oxfordscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 20 June 2019

Simple Pathetic Tragedy

Simple Pathetic Tragedy

(p.110) (p.111) 3 Simple Pathetic Tragedy
What Was Tragedy?

Blair Hoxby

Oxford University Press

The idealist philosophy of the tragic distinguishes between the truly tragic and the merely pathetic. The early modern poetics of tragedy, in contrast, elaborated Aristotle’s description of Sophocles’ Ajax as a simple pathetic tragedy. Trissino revived the species in his Sofonisba (1515), the first regular tragedy of the Renaissance, and from there it descended through masterpieces of the tragic repertoire, including Racine’s Bérénice (1670), Milton’s Samson Agonistes (1671), and Gluck’s Alceste (1767, 1776). The critical tide began to turn when Winckelmann stressed the reticence and moral resistance of Philoctetes and Laocoön. Soon all the major literary critics of the day (Schiller, Herder, Schlegel) were distinguishing the merely pathetic from the truly tragic, deeming pathos to be aesthetic only when it served as a portal to the noumenal realm.

Keywords:   simple pathetic tragedy, Aristotle, Poetics, Sophocles, Ajax, Sophocles, Philoctetes, Trissino, Sofonisba, Racine, Bérénice, Milton, Samson Agonistes, Gluck, Alceste, La Harpe, Philoctète

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 .