Epilogue: Tragedy and Modernity, Closing Thoughts

Michael Silk*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingForeword/postscriptpeer-review


The significant impact of tragedy on modernity includes a wide and diffuse influence on 'ideas', beyond philosophy in the strict sense. A prime example is the role of what J. P. Stern subsumed under the heading of 'the dear purchase' in modern German literature and thought. Conversely, we should insist on the value of German philosophical theories (especially Hegel's and Nietzsche's), but also the importance of Shakespeare and Racine, alongside the Greeks, for the understanding of tragedy itself. Among modern concepts, 'the tragic' needs to be seen to belong to a wider cluster that includes the sublime, irony, pathos, and humour; and assessment of the tragic world view and its impact should be set against those associated with the comic and the tragicomic-not least because of the common modern perception that tragicomedy is itself distinctively modern.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTragedy and the Idea of Modernity
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780191800672
ISBN (Print)9780198727798
Publication statusPublished - 21 May 2015


  • Dear purchase
  • Hegel
  • Nietzsche
  • Racine
  • Shakespeare
  • The comic
  • The tragic
  • The tragicomic


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