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Modern Literature and the Tragic$
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K. M. Newton

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780748636730

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748636730.001.0001

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Nietzsche and the Redefining of the Tragic

Nietzsche and the Redefining of the Tragic

(p.97) Chapter 5 Nietzsche and the Redefining of the Tragic
Modern Literature and the Tragic

K. M. Newton

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter illustrates the influence of Nietzsche's ideas on the tragic philosophy. The play in which the influence of Nietzsche is perhaps strongest is Ibsen's The Master Builder. In this play, Nietzschean oppositions are central to the play's dramatic structure. Auguste Strindberg, in The Father and Miss Julie, subjects traditional tragic form to restructuring and revision by confronting Nietzsche's negative critique, particularly his concept of ‘ressentiment’ and his claim that in the modern world ‘slave morality’ has gained ascendancy over ‘noble’ or ‘master morality’. Strindberg does not suggest any alternative to the tragic condition of being a woman, other than by adopting the strategies of ressentiment in the manner of Laura in The Father.

Keywords:   tragic philosophy, Nietzsche, Auguste Strindberg, The Father, Miss Julie, Ibsen, The Master Builder, ressentiment

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