The Birth of Tragedy Out of the Spirit of Music is a work of dramatic theory that was first published work by German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche in 1872. It was reissued in 1886 with the title The Birth of Tragedy, Or: Hellenism and Pessimism. In it, Nietzsche examines Ancient Greek tragedy as a reflection and affirmation of the human condition. Nietzsche makes it clear that he is discussing aesthetics on his own terms. He creates a new frame of reference for his readers to understand art and the artistic process, that is, the dualistic opposition between Apollo and Dionysus.