The Disjunction of the Tragic: Hegel and Nietzsche

  • Roland Galle


Philosophic speculation on tragedy and the tragic did not develop until the period of German idealism, thus at a time in which tragedy itself had gotten into a far-reaching structural crisis. This crisis has served many critics as an indicator of the frequently diagnosed ‘Death of Tragedy’ in modern times. Thus we have to proceed from the remarkable phenomenon that large scale philosophic speculation on the tragic begins at a time in which the secular tradition of tragedy itself seems to have reached its end. Hegel’s figure of speech of Minerva’s owl, which doesn’t begin its flight until nightfall, has been cited to comment on this striking relationship between the crisis of poetic practice and the onset of philosophic speculation relating to this practice. Hegel’s image implies that a figure of life, of reality, in our case tragedy, has gotten old, has passed its peak and that in a countermove the idea of this figure now preserved in philosophic thought is, so to speak, saved.


Philosophic Thought Tragic Event German Idealism Philosophic Speculation Basic Writing 
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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1993

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  • Roland Galle

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