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date: 25 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter includes a brief history of various views of the relation of theater to the emotions, including the suspicions of critics of theater’s emotional engagement of audiences by figures such as Plato, St. Augustine, Rousseau, and Brecht. Those who defend the emotional address of theater from Aristotle to Artaud are also discussed. The second half of the chapter discusses various mechanisms of emotional engagement and argues that criterial refocusing is more important than identification.

Keywords: Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Brecht, Rousseau, Artaud, emotion, theater, identification, criterial prefocusing

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