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What Should Be Said Of Tragedy Today?

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Chapter Summary

Since Plato, philosophers have struggled with the claims of tragedy. From the outset, a sort of competition defined the relationship between philosophy and tragedy, and the effort by philosophers to take up the claims of tragedy has long been characterized more as critique than interpretation. The question of the right life has determined the stakes of this struggle between philosophy and tragedy. Philosophy and art are the chief forms dedicated to this struggle for some measure of intelligibility with regard to the riddle that we are. Philosophy defines itself as a commitment to the idiom of the ideal; art, above all poetry but in all of its various forms, is a commitment to the ideal of the idiom. In this they resemble Oedipus and Antigone, and as it will turn out their relationship will be just as complicated and incestuous?at least from the side of philosophy and its traditions.

Keywords: Antigone; art; Oedipus; philosophy; tragedy

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