Tragedy's Insights: Identity, Polity, Theodicy


Luis R. Gámez


In lieu of an abstract, the second paragraph of the essay follows:

Reexamining the critical roots of that antinomy in "The Tragic Emotions," David Konstan (Brown University) argues for the inclusion of other audience responses than the pity and fear of Aristotle's Poetics, namely triumph and exultation. In fresh readings of Sophocles' Ajax and Euripides' Hecuba and Bacchae, Konstan draws our attention to the conflicting experiences of "compassionate terror" and "victorious confidence" in these tragedies. He notably focuses on the mechanisms by which playwrights encourage their audiences to identify with victims and victors; his argument suggests how this Aristotelian notion of identification realigns the emotional world of ancient tragedy.

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