Tragic Views of the Human Condition: Cross-Cultural Comparisons between Views of Human Nature in Greek and Shakespearean Tragedy and the Mahabharata and Bhagavadgita

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    Abstract

    Can tragic views of the human condition as known to Westerners through Greek and Shakespearean tragedy be identified outside European culture, in the Indian culture of Hindu epic drama? In what respects can the Mahabharata epic's and the Bhagavadgita's views of the human condition be called 'tragic' in the Greek and Shakespearean senses of the word?

    Tragic views of the human condition are primarily embedded in stories. Only afterwards are these views expounded in theories of tragedy and in philosophical anthropologies. Minnema identifies these embedded views of human nature by discussing the ways in which tragic stories raise a variety of anthropological issues-issues such as coping with evil, suffering, war, death, values, power, sacrifice, ritual, communication, gender, honour, injustice, knowledge, fate, freedom. Each chapter represents one cluster of tragic issues that are explored in terms of their particular (Greek, English, Indian) settings before being compared cross-culturally. In the end, the underlying question is: are Indian views of the human condition very different from Western views?
    Original languageEnglish
    PublisherBloomsbury
    Number of pages572
    ISBN (Electronic)9781441151049, 9781441100696
    ISBN (Print)9781501305788, 9781441194244
    Publication statusPublished - 22 Oct 2015

    Fingerprint

    William Shakespeare
    Cross-cultural Comparison
    Human Nature
    Human Condition
    Tragedy
    Mahabharata
    Epic
    Fate
    Westerners
    Drama
    Evil
    Injustice
    Philosophical Anthropology
    European Culture
    Indian English
    Indian Culture
    Communication

    Cite this

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    abstract = "Can tragic views of the human condition as known to Westerners through Greek and Shakespearean tragedy be identified outside European culture, in the Indian culture of Hindu epic drama? In what respects can the Mahabharata epic's and the Bhagavadgita's views of the human condition be called 'tragic' in the Greek and Shakespearean senses of the word?Tragic views of the human condition are primarily embedded in stories. Only afterwards are these views expounded in theories of tragedy and in philosophical anthropologies. Minnema identifies these embedded views of human nature by discussing the ways in which tragic stories raise a variety of anthropological issues-issues such as coping with evil, suffering, war, death, values, power, sacrifice, ritual, communication, gender, honour, injustice, knowledge, fate, freedom. Each chapter represents one cluster of tragic issues that are explored in terms of their particular (Greek, English, Indian) settings before being compared cross-culturally. In the end, the underlying question is: are Indian views of the human condition very different from Western views?",
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