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7. The Tragedy of Misrecognition—The Desire for a Catholic Shakespeare and Hegel’s Hamlet

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Chapter Summary

Tragedy is the keystone in the arch that unites freedom and necessity, practical reason and pure reason. In other words, the tragic is the completion of philosophy after Kant. And it is philosophy's completion in a sublime act. Schelling claim's that what the Greeks sought in their tragedies was an equilibrium between 'justice and humanity, freedom and necessity', and this equilibrium is what finds expression in tragedy. The sublimity of tragedy is the free acceptance of punishment by this guiltless guilty one. Schelling compares English commentators on Catholic Shakespeare to a bunch of drunken farmers quarreling in front a country pub wholly ignorant of the beautiful theatrical landscape that surrounds them. The chapter concludes with some remarks on the tragedy of misrecognition in Hamlet.

Keywords: Catholic Shakespeare; Hamlet; Hamlet; Hegel; philosophy; Schelling; tragedy



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