Thursday, September 17, 2020

Catharsis

Catharsis

Catharsis, the purification or purgation of the emotions (especially pity and fear) primarily through art. In criticism, catharsis may be a metaphor employed by Aristotle within the Poetics to explain the consequences of true tragedy on the spectator.

Catharsis, the utilization springs from the medical term katharsis (Greek: “purgation” or “purification”). Aristotle states that the aim of tragedy is to arouse “terror and pity” and thereby effect the catharsis of those emotions.

What is Catharsis?


His exact meaning has been the topic of critical debate over the centuries. Tragedy then features a healthful and humanizing effect on the spectator or reader.

Catharsis, The German dramatist and critic Gotthold Lessing (1729–81) held that catharsis converts excess emotions into virtuous dispositions. Other critics see tragedy as an ethical lesson during which the fear and pity excited by the tragic hero’s fate serve to warn the spectator to not similarly tempt providence.

Catharsis, The interpretation generally accepted is that through experiencing fear vicariously during a controlled situation, the spectator’s own anxieties are directed outward, and, through sympathetic identification with the tragic protagonist, his insight and outlook are enlarged. 


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