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Tragedy: A Short Introduction

ISBN: 978-1-4051-3020-2
156 pages
October 2007, Wiley-Blackwell
Tragedy: A Short Introduction (1405130202) cover image
Tragedy: A Short Introduction reinvigorates the genre for readers who are eager to embrace it, but who often find the traditional masterpieces too distant from their own language and world.

  • Argues that today’s most popular television shows and films thrive on the type of violence, passion, madness, and catastrophe first introduced to the stage in fifth century Athens
  • Offers selected case studies that exemplify the compelling qualities of tragedy
  • Reviews the history of tragic performance and the qualities of the classic tragic hero, and clarifies the role of plot in defining traged
  • Analyzes the difference between a tragedy, a catastrophe, and a mere unhappy ending
  • Explores the past and future of the tragic form
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List of Illustrations.

Acknowledgments.

Preface.

Chapter 1. Tragic Theaters.

Chapter 2. Tragic Form and Language.

Chapter 3. Tragic Plots.

Chapter 4. Tragic Heroes.

Chapter 5. Tragic History and Tragic Future.

Plays Cited.

Bibliography.

Index

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Rebecca Bushnell is Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences and Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania. She edited A Companion to Tragedy and authored Green Desire: Imagining Early Modern English Gardens, A Culture of Teaching: Early Modern Humanism in Theory and Practice, Tragedies of Tyrants: Political Thought and Theater in the English Renaissance, and Prophesying Tragedy: Sign and Voice in Sophocles' Theban Plays.
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  • Reinvigorates the genre of tragedy for readers who find the traditional masterpieces - such as those by Sophocles and Shakespeare - too distant from their own language and world

  • Argues that today’s most popular television shows and films thrive on the type of violence, passion, madness, and catastrophe first introduced to the stage in fifth century Athens

  • Offers selected case studies that exemplify the compelling qualities of tragedy

  • Reviews the history of tragic performance and the qualities of the classic tragic hero, and clarifies the role of plot in defining traged

  • Analyzes the difference between a tragedy, a catastrophe, and a mere unhappy ending

  • Explores the past and future of the tragic form
See More
"Rebecca Bushnell's Tragedy: A Short Introduction is a brisk guide for the student reader. Bushnell's approach is not only comparative, but even eclectic, as may befit the often rather unwieldy subject of tragedy . . . the reader will find helpful directions to further reading, but as a concise study, the real strength of this book lies in its close, attentive engagement with canonical texts." (Oxford Journal, 1 March 2011)

 

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