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Tragedy

A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)

Adrian Poole

Paperback

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Description

To your local anchorperson, the word tragedy brings to mind an accidental fire at a low-income apartment block, the horrors of a natural disaster, or atrocities occurring in distant lands. To a classicist however, the word brings to mind the masterpieces of Sophocles, Shakespeare, and Racine; beautiful dramas featuring romanticized torment. What has tragedy been made to mean by dramatists, storytellers, philosophers, politicians, and journalists over the last two and a half millennia? Why do we still read, re-write, and stage these old plays? This lively and engaging work presents an entirely unique approach which shows the relevance of tragedy to today's world, and extends beyond drama and literature into visual art and everyday experience. Addressing questions about belief, blame, mourning, revenge, pain, and irony, noted scholar Adrian Poole demonstrates the age-old significance of our attempts to make sense of terrible suffering.

Oxford University Press, USA, 9780192802354, 148pp.

Publication Date: October 20, 2005



About the Author

Adrian Poole is Reader in English & Comparative Literature, University of Cambridge, and Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge. He has written and lectured on Greek and Shakespearean tragedy, on literary translation and on nineteenth-century English literature. His publications include Gissing in Context (1975), Tragedy: Shakespeare and the Greek Example (1987), Shakespeare and the Victorians (2003), The Oxford Book of Classical Verse in Translation (1995, co-edited with Jeremy Maule), and editions of novels by Dickens, James and R. L. Stevenson. He is working on a project about witnessing tragedy developed out of his 1999 British Academy Shakespeare Lecture, 'Macbeth and the Third Person'.