Hegel’s Theory of Tragedy

A. C. Bradley, “Hegel’s Theory of Tragedy,” in Oxford Lectures on Poetry (London: MacMillan, 1909), 69-95


Since Aristotle dealt with tragedy, and, as usual, drew the main features of his subject with those sure and simple strokes which no later hand has rivalled, the only philosopher who has treated it in a manner both original and searching is Hegel. I propose here to give a sketch of Hegel’s theory, and to add some remarks upon it. But I cannot possibly do justice in a sketch to a theory which fills many pages of the Aesthetik; which I must tear from its connections with the author’s general view of poetry, and with the rest of his philosophy; and which I must try to exhibit as far as possible in the language of ordinary literature.