Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 12 April 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Should Shakespearean tragedy facilitate moral growth? Should we, alternatively, refuse to reduce plays into edifying lessons? This chapter begins by presenting two ways in which ethics and Shakespeare’s tragedies ought not be related to one another. It proceeds to dismiss the objection according to which reading a work for its moral rewards necessarily debases an aesthetic offering. Various forms of braiding moral values and the tragedies are then explored. More than defendable interpretations, it is argued that such ethical readings are fruitful because they are inseparable from aesthetic merit. What makes these tragedies stand out as literary and theatrical creations are, often, implied moral rewards.

Keywords: betterment, tragedy, tragic view, aesthetics, happiness

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.