What is Tragedy?
By Oxford University
To listen to an audio podcast, mouse over the title and click Play. Open iTunes to download and subscribe to podcasts.
Tragedy has been around for over 2500 years, from its earliest manifestations in the huge open-air gathering-places of Athens and other Greek city-states, to the theatres of Renaissance England, Spain and France, right through to the twentieth century with its cinematic tragedies, and the disturbing works of Harold Pinter and Samuel Beckett. In four dialogues, Oliver Taplin, Emeritus Professor, and Joshua Billings, a graduate student in the Oxford Classics Faculty, ask and discuss what tragedy is, what tragedy does for people, whether tragedy teaches, and if tragedy is still alive today.
||CleanIs Tragedy still Alive?||Discussion on whether tragedy still exists in modern culture, whether in films, modern theatre or and other creative arts.||1 3 2010||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanDoes Tragedy Teach?||Third dialogue on the nature of tragedy where they talk about whether tragic theatre teaches people, and if it does, how and what does it teach?||1 3 2010||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanWhat does Tragedy do for People?||A discussion of what the use of tragedy is, and whether the emotional experience of tragic theatre is simply a passing thrill or a vital part of life.||1 3 2010||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanDefining Tragedy||First dialogue between Oliver Taplin and Joshua Billings on tragedy: they discuss what 'tragedy' means, from its origins in Greek culture to philosophical notions of what tragedy and tragic drama are.||1 3 2010||Free||View in iTunes|
Catharsis as Purgation or Vaccination
In the second episode, the host mentions that he dislike the notion of purgation as interpretation of Aristotle’s catharsis. Instead, he thinks the metaphor of vaccination is better. Namely that a tragedy functions a small douce of undeserved misfortune which would be catastrophic in real life, but since it is only in a theatre, it is not real therefore easier to handle. Then the function of tragedy is not to purge the emotions caused by fragility of good but to strengthen immunity to the such a possibility
Listeners also subscribed to
- Category: Courses
- Language: English
- © Oxford University; the media items are released with a Creative Commons licence