Chapter 9. Tragedy and Philosophy

  1. Garry L. Hagberg Chair2 and
  2. Walter Jost Professor of English3
  1. Anthony J. Cascardi Director Professor Literature

Published Online: 17 DEC 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9781444315592.ch9

A Companion to the Philosophy of Literature

A Companion to the Philosophy of Literature

How to Cite

Cascardi, A. J. (2010) Tragedy and Philosophy, in A Companion to the Philosophy of Literature (eds G. L. Hagberg and W. Jost), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444315592.ch9

Editor Information

  1. 2

    University of East Anglia, UK

  2. 3

    University of Virginia, USA

Author Information

  1. University of California, Berkeley, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 17 DEC 2009
  2. Published Print: 15 JAN 2010

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405141703

Online ISBN: 9781444315592



  • tragedy and philosophy;
  • Plato, referring to “ancient quarrel” between literature and philosophy;
  • Plato's critique of tragedy - schematic theory of soul and state;
  • Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics;
  • Plato's methodological commitments - deep as his ethical and political ones;
  • Oedipus Tyrannus - revealing itself as political play;
  • Shakespearean tragedy – Macbeth and King Lear – relentlessly resisting definition;
  • tragedy, regarded as indispensable element in construction of state