As I understand from the text, one of the reasons for the decline of greek tragedy (according to Nietzsche) is the influence of Socrates's dialectical work.

Socratic maxim goes like -

Virtue is knowledge, all sins arise from ignorance, the virtuous man is the happy man.

It sounds like a strong argument for the Apollonian nature of art, which I believe Nietzsche was in support of. Throughout the book "The Birth of Tragedy", it seems that he favours the Dionysus over the Apollonian nature. But the argument at the beginning of the book was a balance between the both. Am I understanding his stance correctly? Could someone help me out?

  • 2
    "Apolline" ? Mybe Apollonian (vs Dionysian): "Nietzsche's aesthetic usage of the concepts, which was later developed philosophically, first appeared in his 1872 book The Birth of Tragedy. His major premise here was that the fusion of Dionysian and Apollonian "artistic impulses". Nietzsche is adamant that the works of Aeschylus and Sophocles represent the apex of artistic creation, the true realization of tragedy; it is with Euripides that tragedy begins its downfall. 1/2 Commented Feb 25, 2020 at 7:46
  • 2
    Nietzsche objects to Euripides's use of Socratic rationalism (the dialectic) in his tragedies, claiming that the infusion of ethics and reason robs tragedy of its foundation, namely the fragile balance of the Dionysian and Apollonian." 2/2 Commented Feb 25, 2020 at 7:49
  • 1
    See also this post regarding N's views about Socrates. Commented Feb 26, 2020 at 14:29
  • This is very insightful. Nietzsche's frequent use of Socrates as a stand-in for Plato was something that I had not thought of. Thanks a lot, Mauro! For suggesting edits and helping me with resources. Commented Feb 28, 2020 at 3:45
  • You are welcome :-) Commented Feb 28, 2020 at 6:59


You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .