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What Was Tragedy? – Theory and the Early Modern Canon - Oxford Scholarship Online
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What Was Tragedy?: Theory and the Early Modern Canon

Blair Hoxby


Twentieth-century critics have definite ideas about tragedy. They maintain that in a true tragedy, fate must feel the resistance of the tragic hero’s moral freedom before finally crushing him, thus generating our ambivalent sense of terrible waste coupled with spiritual consolation. Yet far from being a timeless truth, this account of tragedy only emerged in the wake of the French Revolution. This book demonstrates that this account of the tragic, which has been hegemonic from the early nineteenth century to the present despite recent twists and turns of critical fashion, obscured an earlier p ... More

Keywords: tragedy, theory of tragedy, early modern tragedy, pathos, passions, Idealism, tragic opera, Christian tragedy, tragicomedy, canon formation

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2015 Print ISBN-13: 9780198749165
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2015 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198749165.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Blair Hoxby, author
Associate Professor of English, Stanford University

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