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In The Birth of Tragedy, Nietzsche describes a Dionysian satyr as a force that impregnates an Apollonian world of images giving rise to dialogue on the Hellenic stage and henceforth the Greek tragedies. Is it that conflict between Dionysian and Apollonian ideas that gives rise to tragedy or is Greek tragedy a result of some other force, according to Nietzsche?

  • "....according to Nietzsche". That is the problem. I would read this Wikipedia en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greek_tragedy down to "Dionysia" then click on that link (Dionysia) and continue reading, and get some idea of standard scholarship in this area. One thing to keep in mind is that the presentation of tragedy was confined to a certain time of year. This is important. It was chaos that was "outside the camp" in some way. Not like today when you can watch a film, DVD, streaming, at any time. This Dionysia was outside the norm. – Gordon Dec 17 '17 at 16:49
  • Nietzsche wants to hook this up with something inside the norm, the Eternal Return. Nietzsche's Birth of Tragedy was criticized by many of the best German philologists of his day, including his own teacher. Nietzsche himself later criticized it, read down: m.sparknotes.com/philosophy/birthoftragedy/context.html There is a lot of written material on this. You can search around the internet for articles, books which compare and contrast Bith with Twilight and esp. Ecce Homo. – Gordon Dec 17 '17 at 17:46
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From 'The Dionysiac World View', which is a kind of commentary on BN it appears that Greek tragedy on Nietzsche's view arose from the conjunction, the fusing in creative conflict, of the Apollonian and the Dionysiac. Both mentalities had existed separately but 'at the moment when the Hellenic "Will" blossomed' and this conjunction occurred, tragedy was born. It is not clear that Nietzsche offers any other source or origin for tragedy except this conjunction. It is a fair inference that both the Apollonian and the Dionysian had existed separately before the birth of tragedy - but co-existed and not fused in the art of tragedy.

Quotation is from Nietzsche, 'The Birth of Tragedy and Other Writings', ed. R. Guess & R. Speirs, Cambridge, 2000, 119.

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