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Tragedy: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) Paperback – 11 Aug 2005

4.0 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford (11 Aug. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0192802356
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192802354
  • Product Dimensions: 17.3 x 1.3 x 10.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 97,914 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

'Oxford's always stimulating Very Short Introductions series.' (Independent on Sunday)

About the Author

Adrian Poole is Professor of English Literature, University of Cambridge, and Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge. He has written and lectured on Greek and Shakespearean tragedy, on literary translation and on nineteenth-century English literature. His publications include Gissing in Context (1975), Tragedy: Shakespeare and the Greek Example (1987), Shakespeare and the Victorians (2003), The Oxford Book of Classical Verse in Translation (1995, co-edited with Jeremy Maule), and editions of novels by Dickens, James and R. L. Stevenson. He is working on a project about witnessing tragedy developed out of his 1999 British Academy Shakespeare Lecture, 'Macbeth and the Third Person'.


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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
By its nature as "a very short introduction" this book is not all encompassing, and may well read as a compression of a larger work, so I'm surprised by some of the criticism (but have seen this criticism of other books in the series). Coming to the subject without much real knowledge of it, other than having read some shakespeare's tragedies I found it a fascinating starting point that makes me want to both read more tragedies and read more on the topic. Key area that caught my attention was the discussion about the ages that produced tragedy and why, and what they have in common, particularly the relevance of attitudes to the divine, and then the contrast between classical tragedy and what came after. There is so much in here, so much food for thought that the book probably requires a second reading.
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Format: Paperback
I'm afraid I have to disagree with the reviewer who remarked that this is fragmented and unsatisfactory. For me it is without question the best book I have read in this series to date. Having a Masters degree (with distinction) in Literary Theory from one of the world's top universities, I had my doubts as to whether this book could hold my attention, but it was full of interesting insights. The other reviewer is perhaps too narrow in focussing only on Shakesperean tragedy; this book is not simply about tragedy as a genre in general or as a genre in the hands of one poet, but is also about tragedy as a broad philosophical concept. It is this lit. crit. focus among the English (where theory has been but a ripple within the subject of the all too anglocentric subject of English Literature) that detracts from their understanding of wider theoretical concepts. The reason this book is so good is that it really tackles tragedy as a concept, drawing on necessarily brief analysis of the origins of the concept in Ancient Greek works, tackling theorists from Aristotle to Nietzsche and managing to provide a concise yet stimulating overview that is both historical and theoretical. Changing views of the concept of tragedy are tested in particular instances of literature, rather than the typical English Lit. method: "What does Milton mean when he says this? Why does that make the work a tragedy?" (As if tragedy were a fixed genre and the sole aim of reading were to establish 'meaning' and pin works to genres.) Best of all, however, this book is a cracking read. I was enthralled from start to finish. In short, for me, this is an outstanding VSI.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Brilliantly written, my favourite in this series so far. This in part might be because I have a solid understanding of the subject already and while the book did teach me some new things and made me think about the subject in a different way, the main benefit came from being able to reconnect to the subject and feel Poole's passion for the subject come through on every single page. Unlike other Very Short Introductions where I've known relatively little, if anything on the subject, this one was different and gave me room to appreciate the style more than the content. A great introduction for anyone interested in tragedy.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Was recommended this from my lecturer at Durham; which I found surprising ..... but I shouldn't have been because it's an awesome little book and I am incredibly happy I bought it! Love and adoration GALORE!!!!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is exactly what the title suggests, a general tour of the outlines of tragedy, and a good introduction to the subject
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