Bob Dylan

An American Tragedian

Authored by: Kile Jones

The Routledge History of Social Protest in Popular Music

Print publication date:  June  2013
Online publication date:  July  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415509527
eBook ISBN: 9780203124888
Adobe ISBN: 9781136447297

10.4324/9780203124888.ch7

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Abstract

Tragedy has been an essential mode of representing the human condition throughout history. It has anchored various narratives and has involved such horrendous themes as families being torn apart, greed, war, torture, revenge, strife, and meaningless suffering. The Greek poets are the original patriarchs of tragedy—not only because of their interest in tragedy, but also because they constructed tragedy as a distinctive literary genre—and, as such, they are the beginning point for any study of tragedy. Aeschylus' Oresteia, Sophocles' Oedipus the King, and Euripides' Alcestis form the early canon of tragedy. Aristotle, who wrote on these early tragedians, distinguishes tragedy by its cathartic effect in soliciting pity and fear in the spectator. 1

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