Tragic Pathos: Pity and Fear in Greek Philosophy and Tragedy

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Cambridge University Press, Nov 10, 2011 - Literary Collections
Scholars have often focused on understanding Aristotle's poetic theory, and particularly the concept of catharsis in the Poetics, as a response to Plato's critique of pity in the Republic. However, this book shows that, while Greek thinkers all acknowledge pity and some form of fear as responses to tragedy, each assumes for the two emotions a different purpose, mode of presentation and, to a degree, understanding. This book reassesses expressions of the emotions within different tragedies and explores emotional responses to and discussions of the tragedies by contemporary philosophers, providing insights into the ethical and social implications of the emotions.

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Part I Theoretical views about pity and fear as aesthetic emotions
Part II Pity and fear within tragedies
Appendix Catharsis and the emotions in the definition of tragedy in the Poetics

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About the author (2011)

Dana Munteanu is Assistant Professor in the Department of Greek and Latin at Ohio State University. She has published articles on Aristotle, Greek drama and the reception of classics in modern literature and in opera, as well as editing a forthcoming collection of essays on emotion, gender and genre in antiquity. Her future research projects include a monograph on 'staged death' in Greek drama and an interdisciplinary project on the ethics of aesthetics.

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