Indeed, every time we return to the source of the Christian experience, new paths and undreamed of possibilities open up" Francis, Discourse, 4 October Jesus looked upon the women and the men he met with love and tenderness, accompanying their steps with patience and mercy, in proclaiming the demands of the Kingdom of God.
It is there that we find their first sustained philosophical treatment; and with respect to this small part of it, at least, Alfred North Whitehead 's characterization of the history of philosophy as a series of footnotes to Plato is not too fanciful. Tragedy and Emotion One strand of thought focuses on the character and value of our experience of tragedy, and can be seen in Plato's charge that tragedy and indeed mimetic poetry in general "gratifies and indulges the instinctive desires … with its hunger for tears and for an uninhibited indulgence in grief"; that "it waters [passions] when they ought to be allowed to wither, and makes them control us when we ought, in the interests of our own greater welfare and happiness, to control them"a.
Plato's thought that the emotional dimension of our experience of tragedy is particularly significant has been taken up in a variety of directions by other philosophers. In the Poetics, Aristotle argued that tragedy's capacity to arouse the emotions of pity and fear in its audience, so far from rendering it intellectually and morally damaging, is in fact a source of its value: Tragedy aims at emotional effect not for its own sake, or for the sake of gratifying or indulging its audience, he argued, but rather in such a way as to bring about a catharsis of the tragic emotions.
Precisely what Aristotle meant by catharsis is far from clear, and has been the topic of much scholarly debate: The notion has been understood in terms of purgation of excessive or pathological emotionof purification, and of intellectual clarification, to mention only some of the most influential of the interpretations that have been offered.
Whatever its precise meaning may be, however, it is clear that Aristotle took catharsis to be a process or experience that in one way or another Participation response the spanish tragedy conducive to emotional health or balance, such that our emotional experience of well-written tragedy is not indulgently sentimental and opposed to "our better nature," as Plato argued, but is rather an essential element in a fully comprehending attitude to what a work depicts.
Aristotle linked catharsis with the pleasure that we take in tragedy: The fact that mention of the former comes at the end of his definition of tragedy suggests that he takes it to be in some sense the goal of works of this sort, and an appropriate form of the latter is said to be "what the poet should seek to produce.
For how is it that one can derive pleasure from what Aristotle himself describes elsewhere notably in the Rhetoric as painful feelings? This question is a more difficult relative of one prompted by Plato's reference to the fact that "when we hear Homer or one of the tragic poets representing the sufferings of a hero and making him bewail them at length … even the best of us enjoy it"c-d: How is it that in engaging with a work of tragedy one is able, or is enabled by the work, to enjoy the depiction of human suffering?
Debate surrounding these and related questions was particularly prevalent in eighteenth-century British philosophy and criticism, attracting contributions from such figures as Lord Kames, James Beattie, and Joseph Priestleyas well as, more influentially, David HumeAdam Smithand Edmund Burke.
Some contributors to the debate focus on the question of how one can respond with pleasure to what tragedy depicts: Edmund Burkefor example, in his A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and the Beautiful, took the problem to lie in the "common observation" "that objects which in the reality would shock, are in tragical, and such like representations, the source of a very high species of pleasure"p.
As, in a sense, did Plato, though he took the inconsistency between our responses to depictions of suffering in tragedy and our responses to suffering "in reality" to lie not in the fact that the former involve pleasure and the latter "shock" or horror, but rather in that in the former we give vent to our emotions whereas in the latter we strive "to bear them in silence like men.
However, such discussions risk missing the more difficult issue that arises from Aristotle's characterization of tragic pleasure. For if that characterization is right, the peculiarity of the latter is not simply that it occurs in response to the depiction of things that in other contexts do not give one pleasure, but rather that it is a variety of pleasure that is intimately bound up with painful feeling; as he put it, it is the pleasure "of," or "derived from," such feeling.
The more sophisticated treatments of our emotional experience of tragedy have attempted to address this. Burke, for example, suggested that the apparent inconsistency between one's responses to tragedy and one's responses to actual suffering is illusory; in fact, he held, we are just as disposed to take pleasure in actual sufferings as we are in depictions of suffering, and in both cases our response is based on sympathy, a psychological mechanism that involves pain at the distress of its objects, but also in order to foster its occurrence pleasure: Adam Smith made a similar point when he argued that it is because of its social utility that the experience of sympathy, even when the emotions communicated sympathetically are painful, is naturally pleasurable to human beings.
This account of the matter, though clearly based on a Humean theory of the passions, was rejected by Hume himself, on the grounds that the operation of sympathy is not always pleasurable: If it were, he suggested in a letter to Smith, "an hospital would be a more entertaining place than a ball.
Hume suggested that the spectators' pleasure and their "disagreeable and uneasy" emotions are initially responses to different aspects of a work of tragedy: To leave the matter at that would clearly miss the problem posed by Aristotle's characterization of tragic pleasure.
But Hume went on to argue that these responses merge, as the pleasure, which is dominant, overpowers, and somehow "converts" the distress in such as way as to reinforce the former: The latter, being the predominant emotion, seize the whole mind, and convert the former into themselves, at least tincture them so strongly as totally to alter their nature"p.
Contemporary discussions of Hume's account have focused on just what this "conversion" of emotion is supposed to involve, for Hume himself was less than clear on the matter.
Whatever it does amount to, however, it is clearly dependent on Hume's associationist psychology, and is unlikely to survive the rejection of this.
Philosophical discussion of tragic pleasure, or what scholars often refer to as "the paradox of tragedy," has continued on very much the lines established by eighteenth-century thinkers, though a new slant on the matter and indeed on the nature of catharsis has been introduced by philosophers and others influenced by the methods and findings of psychoanalytic theory.
It remains a recurring theme in contemporary philosophy of art. Plato's target here is the view that "the tragedians … are masters of all forms of skill, and know all about human excellence and defect and about religion"d-eor more broadly the thought that tragedy's distinctiveness has to do with its capacity to prompt, and to suggest authoritative answers to, questions of a distinctively ethical sort.
The thought that tragedy is an especially philosophical form of art received its most sustained treatment in nineteenth-century German philosophy and criticism, where versions of it were expounded by Gotthold Lessing, Friedrich Schiller, Friedrich Schlegel, August Wilhelm Schlegel, and Johann Goethe, as well as, and from a philosophical point of view more notably, by Georg Hegel, Arthur Schopenhauerand Friedrich Nietzsche.
Hegel argued that the business of Classical tragedy—its "essential basis"—is to demonstrate "the validity of the substance and necessity of ethical life"Vol.On the morning of 12 August , Kursk was participating in the "Summer-X" exercise, the first large-scale naval exercise planned by the Russian Navy in more than a decade, and also its first since the fall of the Soviet Union.
It included 30 ships and three submarines. The boat had recently won a citation for its excellent performance and .
Classical to Renaissance Tutorial Participation Response on The Spanish Tragedy The Spanish Tragedy is a play, which revolves quite dramatically around the contextual issues of revenge tradition and Justice. The Spanish Tragedy by Thomas Kyd Study Guide Theatre Pro Rata March , Contents 1.
Thomas Kyd: a short biography and timeline The Spanish Tragedy is the only original play by Kyd of which we have definite was not met with an appropriate response . Richard Gott, “The Spanish Tragedy,” Manchester Guardian Weekly (July 27, ). 3 Burnett Bolloten, The Spanish Revolution: The Left and the Struggle for Power During the Civil War (University of North Carolina Press, ), p.
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