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date: 01 July 2022

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

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