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Bell Shakespeare’s new King Lear understands the joy of a good tragedy

By Kirk Dodd, Lecturer in English and Writing, University of Sydney
It is a common reflex to reach for Aristotle’s Poetics to determine what a good tragedy should be. Aristotle says there are good reasons to enjoy a good tragedy, especially if its ergon or telos (its function) works well. This function is to trigger the pleasure (in an audience) of experiencing catharsis.

According to Aristotle, catharsis concerns the purgation or “release” of troubling emotions such as pity and fear. While we tend to bottle up these emotions in everyday life, the tragic…The Conversation

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