Chapter

Nietzsche and the Redefining of the Tragic

K. M. Newton

in Modern Literature and the Tragic

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print June 2008 | ISBN: 9780748636730
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748652082 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748636730.003.0006
Nietzsche and the Redefining of the Tragic

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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

Chapter.  11768 words. 

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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