Spiritual Idealism and Tragic Wisdom: An Essay on King Lear

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Tragedy can be said to do away with our illusions, with the idealized stories we tell about ourselves, reminding us of the disasters and failures to which we are so vulnerable. Yet tragedy is not only about suffering but also about the ways we cope with or learn through suffering. Does tragedy, in this respect, tilt back toward the spiritual idealism it contradicts? This essay takes up this question through a reading of King Lear. The play presents a tragic story of ruin while at the same time exploring an existential concern as old as Aeschylus and the major Jewish prophets: the transformation of heart and vision in the dark of suffering.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFictional Worlds and Philosophical Reflection
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9783030730611
ISBN (Print)9783030730604
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022


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