The Birth of Tragedy
But, at this juncture, when the will is most imperiled, art approaches, as a redeeming and healing enchantress; she alone may transform these horrible reflections on the terror and absurdity of existence into representations with which man may live. These are the representation of the sublime as the artistic conquest of the awful, and of the comic as the artistic release from the nausea of the absurd. The satyric chorus of the dithyramb is the saving device of Greek art."
To separate this primitive and all-powerful Dionysian element from tragedy, and to construct a new and purified form on the basis of an un-Dionysian art, morality, and conception of the world—this is the tendency of Euripides as it is now clearly revealed to us.
The intimation is that the poet is incapable of composing until he has become unconscious and bereft of reason.
Optimistic dialectic drives music out of tragedy with the scourge of its syllogisms: that is, it destroys the essence of tragedy, which can be interpreted only as a manifestation and illustration of Dionysian states, as the visible symbolizing of music, as the dream-world of Dionysian ecstasy.
Let us imagine a rising generation with this bold vision, this heroic desire for the magnificent, let us imagine the valiant step of these dragon-slayers, the proud daring with which they turn their backs on all the effeminate doctrines of optimism that they may "live resolutely," wholly, and fully: would it not be necessary for the tragic man of this culture, with his self-discipline of seriousness and terror, to desire a new art, the art of metaphysical comfort—namely, tragedy "
Readers' Notes allow users to add their own analysis and insights to our SparkNotes—and to discuss those ideas with one another. Have a novel take or think we left something out? Add a Readers' Note!