Tragic Plots: A New Reading from Aeschylus to Lorca, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Tragic Plots

A New Reading from Aeschylus to Lorca, 1st Edition

By Felicity Rosslyn


256 pages

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Hardback: 9781138727977
pub: 2017-11-22
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This title was first published in 2000. This book offers a wide-ranging account of tragic drama from the Greeks to Arthur Miller. It puts forward a bold and vigorously developed argument about the recurrent concerns of tragedy, and proposes to uncover the archetypal tragic plot that emerges at key points of historical transition. It traces this plot through fascinatingly diverse formations on Athens, Renaissance England and the modern world, and offers detailed analysis of over twenty plays. The needs of the first-time reader are not forgotten, while challenging new light is thrown on each period. There is substantial discussion of Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripedes, Marlowe, Shakespeare, Ibsen, Strindberg, Chekhov, Lorca and Miller, along with briefer consideration of the Senecan tradition, Yeats, Synge, O’Neill and T.S. Eliot. Felicity Rosslyn asks why tragic plays get written when they do, and why they so often dramatise the struggle to break the ties of blood for the bonds of law.


’Tragic Plots is packed with insight, and has not a dull paragraph in it (the Shakespeare analyses are especially brilliant). It has emerged, the author says, out of twenty years of teaching tragedy. Lucky Felicity Rosslyn’s students.’ TLS ’Tragic Plots constantly throws up and ponders questions of inexhaustible interest. It is also a first-rate piece of jargon-free literary criticism.’ TLS '…this book is a rare achievement. Tragic Plots is accessible to beginners but challenging to specialists. It demonstrates and affirms the vitality, centrality, and continuing life of tragedy as a recurring dramatic form.' Translation and Literature 'Tragic Plots would stand out in any year… it is a critical masterpiece.' English Studies

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction; Part One: Greek Tragedy: Aeschylus; Sophocles; Euripides; Part Two: Renaissance Tragedy; Revenge and the Machiavel; Shakespeare; Part Three: Modern Tragedy: Ibsen and Strindberg; Lorca; Part Four: Conclusion: Tragedy and the Historical Moment; Bibliography; Index.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LITERARY CRITICISM / Comparative Literature