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Fecal catharsis[edit]

What? Is there a cite for this weird claim about Lessing and catharsis? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:44, 8 February 2012 (UTC)

Paragraph 2[edit]

Please keep facts on wikipedia and not your opinions. Thanks.

Opinions are fine on the discussion page. Thanks.
I've tried to write a better paragraph 2. I did my best, but I'm not a professional writer. What I think is important to this article is to include differing opinions on the best translation of Catharsis. I welcome people cleaning up this paragraph, but please keep the three different possibilities of what Aristotle might have meant. (Although that first one is fairly ahistoric, so I wanted to see a citation. If no citation is supplied, I don't mind seeing it deleted.) Thanks! --In Defense of the Artist 03:33, 14 January 2007 (UTC)

The Catharsis-hypothesis in human sexuality[edit]

The Catharsis-hypothesis is sometimes discussed in studies about the effects of pornography on human behavior, and in this case, the hypothesis says that exposure to erotica may lead to sexual release and hence cause less rape crimes due to pornography that some believe. Maybe this could be brought up in this article as I didn't see it specifically mentioning this sexuality aspect. -- Northgrove 14:25, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

It sounds like this would want to be its own article. --In Defense of the Artist 18:59, 14 January 2007 (UTC)
Hypotheses are ok but encyclopedia should be about established fact. Write a paragraph about it if you can refer to a reliable source. A priori, I don't see any reason why pornography should reduce rather than increase sexual aggression, so if you write about it, you should refer to empirical research. Lebatsnok (talk) 07:26, 15 October 2012 (UTC)


"While seemingly related to schadenfreude, it is not, however, in the sense that the audience is not intentionally led to feel happy in light of others' misfortunes; in an invariant sense, their spirits are refreshed through having greater appreciation for life"

This sentence is unclear and difficult to read. I need some help to rewrite it. What does "in an invariant sense" mean? Tonyfaull 15:09, 1 September 2006 (UTC)

"This can be clearly seen in Oedipus Rex where King Oedipus is confronted with ever more outrageous actions until emptying generated by the death of his mother-wife and his act of self-blinding." This sentence seems to be missing a verb. If anything can be clearly seen, please enlighten us with the meaning of this sentence. Not finding a lot of useful information in this entry. antivert

I found a fascinating link between catharsis and schadenfreude:

"As Tragedy in Aristotle's view rids us of excessive pity and fear, Comedy performs the same service for less polite emotions, both the malice, the Schadenfreude, which makes us desire to abuse and ridicule our neighbors, and the appetites of sex." F. L. Lucas, from "Emotional Effect of Tragedy". --In Defense of the Artist 16:48, 14 January 2007 (UTC)

edfdfasdfasf —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:49, 29 September 2007 (UTC)


I don't know enough to do this, but WP:NOT says we're not a dictionary, so why is the entire intro tracing the root of the word itself? Someone needs to move the relevant info to the intro. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jonwilliamsl (talkcontribs) 03:08, 11 January 2008 (UTC)

Acts of Catharsis in fiction and film[edit]

Can someone help discuss portrayals of catharsis in fiction anf film? Le Anh-Huy (talk) 20:43, 6 August 2008 (UTC)

I agree, this needs an "In Popular Culture" segment. ( (talk) 07:21, 7 August 2008 (UTC))

Oh goodness no, no it doesn't. Not by a reasonable definition of "Original Research." Just because something is interesting and academic, that is not the threshold for inclusion on wikipedia because it is an encyclopedia, not a collection of essays. Because of this, only things that are examining catharsis explicitly, using the word, can be included. We cannot include things that implicitly discuss catharsis because that would require wikipedia authors to analyze and dissect media. As an encyclopedia this does not work, instead we include analysis from published work, we describe that work rather than dissect it. Also, In Popular Culture sections are discouraged, for more reasons than the ones I have just given. (talk) 16:18, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

Removed section[edit]

I removed the following section, since it contained wrong, irrelevant and confusing information:


Kinesiological Catharsis (Catharsis and Sport)

In KNES 350 class at the University of Maryland, College Park, one of the professors, Dr. Brown, teaches that catharsis is directly associated with Sport. Every athlete has some extent of psychological "purging" of emotions and/or physiological stresses, through a cathartic release performed through various sport venues. Often the stresses of daily life become a bit overwhelming; and through playing a sport such as soccer, basketball, or football; or by performing exercise such as calisthenics, weightlifting, or running; a person is able to release the stress and tension. In a way it is like channeling the stress from the mind to the body. The idea is that physically stressing the body with provide a cathartic purging of the mind. People who have a high tolerance for pain often enjoy sports and exercising for cathartic purposes more than do people with a lower tolerance for pain. Apparently Aristotle first came up with the idea of catharsis pertaining to sports No Contest. Later, Sigmund Freud and Konrad Lorenz entertained and supported this idea. More on this on page 144 of the book No Contest that can be found for free in Google Books. Please someone edit and elaborate on this type of catharsis.

"Apparently Aristotle first came up with the idea of catharsis pertaining to sports..." Yeah, right. I don't think i have to give any further arguments. I.torquaij (talk) 08:44, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

Catharsis as popular reference versus current academic consensus[edit]

While I'm not familiar with Lessings research, The current understanding of Aristoteles' catharsis is contested. There is however a big point to how entrenched the main view presented in this article is. It is likely to have been used in the meaning presented here for anyone encountering it even if this is an outdated understanding.

I'll see if I can get around to writing something up, but for anyone interested it should be easy enough to find work on how the aspect of purging probably is a misinterpretation due to translations of the Poetics. The importance of the sentence "More recently, such terms as restoration, renewal, and revitalization have been used when referencing the effect on members of the audience.[citation needed]" is not to be underestimated, but does need a citation of course. (talk) 21:58, 16 March 2012 (UTC)

Writing in first person[edit]

Achieving catharsis in literary analysis begins with "Below I cite such an analysis..."

Not good. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:30, 17 October 2012 (UTC)


Wran keeps reinserting the claim (originally inserted by that: "[catharsis] bears a range of meanings such as "purgation," "purification," "cleansing, and "clarification." It represents the wide range of effects that philosphers [sic] and critics have suggested take place under the stimulus of powerful and effective artistic representations. It has most commonly been applied to an effect of the emotions of pity and fear in tragedy but it can be used more widely to recognize the effect of other art forms on the emotiona [sic] they evoke or any marked change in feeling that results in such effects as renewal, restoration, and revitalization.". I leave aside the fact that s/he keeps reinserting a paragraph that is poorly written and typo-laden (another user had to fix it). I will only comment that s/he has replaced a long-standing lead that has been remarkably stable (since 2006) with a highly contentious POV text that is not supported by any source. I will replace it, unless references are provided within a few days. --Omnipaedista (talk) 00:13, 25 April 2013 (UTC)

The lead I propose is: "catharsis {etymology} refers to the purification and purgation of emotions (especially pity and fear) through art or to any extreme change in emotion that results in renewal and restoration. This minimal version is in accordance with canonical encyclopedic definitions such as "catharsis, the purification or purgation of the emotions (especially pity and fear) primarily through art. In criticism, catharsis is a metaphor used by Aristotle in the Poetics to describe the effects of true tragedy on the spectator" (catharsis (criticism) -- Encyclopedia Britannica) or "the purification and purgation of emotions (especially pity and fear) primarily through art" (catharsis, Merriam-Webster's Encyclopedia Of Literature), and with several sources that contain such statements as "The theory of catharsis has a disarming affinity with the expressional theory, since it emphasizes emotion, asserts a change in emotion as a result of aesthetic operations, and concludes on a note of freedom in relation to the emotion" (see A. Berndtson (1975), p. 235) or "Catharsis in Shakespearean tragedy involves ... some kind of restoration of order and a renewal or enhancement of our positive feelings for the hero" (R. Levin (2003), p. 42). --Omnipaedista (talk) 00:59, 25 April 2013 (UTC)

The "intellectual clarification" section[edit]

I think the intellectual clarification section of this article needs a lot of work. It's full of jargon and self-referential sentences that may have been lifted from their sources, or copy pasted. If I undersood even 30% of it, I'd try to rewrite it a little, but ouch. (talk) 16:19, 29 August 2013 (UTC)

Purgation Hotlink[edit]

In the "Purgation and purification" section the hotlink on the word "purgation" links to its own section. This doesn't seem useful. I am a new user and therefore unsure of how to or if I should change the link but that just doesn't seem right. If it is the way it is supposed to be I would like to know why. Thanks, Kieransteeves (talk) 16:28, 9 January 2015 (UTC)

Catharsis in pschology/psychotherapy[edit]

This article, in its introduction, seems to focus entirely on the literary/arts connection. However there is a later section referring to catharsis, as it is considered in psychology/psychotherapy. In my view this should be referred to in the introduction, if only because studies in that area raise questions about whether there is in fact any remedial effect (catharsis) in so-called cathartic experiences; the need for separation of this topic area is that in therapy, this catharsis in achieved without necessarily involving any literary or arts connection. For example, a traumatic experience may be confronted/relived by revisiting the situation/memory/whatever in the imagination or by use of hypnotism.

In this psychological context there have, as mentioned, been questions raised about whether catharsis results in relief of the trauma--short or long term--or whether in fact it sometimes leads to exacerbation of the condition: similar to the questions raised about the effect of pornography or the effect of violence in movies aimed at adolescents ... or adults for that matter.

Counter to these doubting studies, some psychologists have hastened to distinguish between 'catharsis' and venting, although what that difference is I am not quite sure.

Actually that's what I came to this page to find out...and was disappointed. -- (talk) 23:45, 23 January 2015 (UTC)