Hegel on Tragedy and Comedy

New Essays

Edited by Mark Alznauer

Subjects: Philosophy, Literary Criticism, Drama
Hardcover : 9781438483375, 298 pages, May 2021
Paperback : 9781438483368, 298 pages, January 2022

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Table of contents

Mark Alznauer

Part I: Tragedy

1. The Beauty of Fate and Its Reconciliation. Hegel's The Spirit of Christianity and Its Fate and Goethe's Iphigenia in Tauris
Douglas Finn (Villanova University)

2. Two Early Interpretations of Hegel's Theory of Greek Tragedy. Hinrichs and Goethe
Eric v. d. Luft (Gegensatz Press)

3. Hegel and the Origins of Critical Theory. Aeschylus and Tragedy in Hegel's Natural Law Essay
Wes Furlotte (Thompson Rivers University)

4. The Tragedy of Sex (for Hegel)
Antón Barba-Kay (Catholic University of America)

5. Substantial Ends and Choices without a Will. Greek Tragedy as Archetype of Tragic Drama
Allegra de Laurentiis (SUNY Stony Brook)

6. Freedom and Fixity in Shakespeare's Tragic Heroes
Rachel Falkenstern (St. Francis College)

Part II: Comedy

7. Taking the Ladder Down. Hegel on Comedy and Religious Experience
Peter Wake (St. Edward's University)

8. From Comedy to Christianity. The Nihilism of Aristophanic Laughter
Paul T. Wilford (Boston College)

9. Hegel and "the Other Comedy"
Martin Donougho (University of South Carolina)

10. The Comedy of Public Opinion in Hegel
Jeffrey Church (University of Houston)

Part III: History

11. Hegel's Tragic Conception of World History
Fiacha D. Heneghan (Vanderbilt University)

12. Hegel on Tragedy and the World-Historical Individual's Right of Revolutionary Action
Jason M. Yonover (Johns Hopkins University)

13. Philosophy, Comedy, and History. Hegel's Aristophanic Modernity
C. Allen Speight (Boston University)


Explores the full extent of Hegel’s interest in tragedy and comedy throughout his works and extends from more literary and dramatic issues to questions about the role these genres play in the history of society and religion.


No philosopher has treated the subject of tragedy and comedy in as original and searching a manner as G. W. F. Hegel. His concern with these genres runs throughout both his early and late works and extends from aesthetic issues to questions in the history of society and religion. Hegel on Tragedy and Comedy is the first book to explore the full extent of Hegel's interest in tragedy and comedy. The contributors analyze his treatment of both ancient and modern drama, including major essays on Sophocles, Aristophanes, Shakespeare, Goethe, and the German comedic tradition, and examine the relation of these genres to political, religious, and philosophical issues. In addition, the volume includes several essays on the role tragedy and comedy play in Hegel's philosophy of history. This book will not only be valuable to those who wish for a general overview of Hegel's treatment of tragedy and comedy but also to those who want to understand how his treatment of these genres is connected to the rest of his thought.

Mark Alznauer is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Northwestern University and the author of Hegel's Theory of Responsibility.