Talk:The Birth of Tragedy

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The Apollonian and The Dionysian[edit]

"Dionysian ecstasy is balanced by Apollonian beauty while Apollonian beauty tempers Dionysian ecstasy." This is just saying the same thing twice. The second half needs to be changed into something explaining how the Dionysian has a positive influence on the Apollonian.--Tchoutoye 18:36, 15 June 2007 (UTC)


The book has many references to Schopenhauer, as well as several long quotes from Schopenhauer's works. However, there are two sentences from Schopenhauer that may have had a strong influence on Nietzsche:

First of all, let me mention here that, remote as the Greeks were from the Christian and lofty Asiatic world-view, and although they were decidedly at the standpoint of the affirmation of the will, they were nevertheless deeply affected by the wretchedness of existence. The invention of tragedy, which belongs to them, is already evidence of this.

— The World as Will and Representation, Vol. II, Ch. XLVI

This can be compared with Nietzsche:

Here, when the danger to his will is greatest, art approaches as a saving sorceress, expert at healing. She alone knows how to turn these nauseous thoughts about the horror or absurdity of existence into notions with which one can live: these are the sublime as the artistic taming of the horrible, and the comic as the artistic discharge of the nausea of absurdity. The satyr chorus of the dithyramb is the saving deed of Greek art; faced with the intermediary world of these Dionysian companions, the feelings described here exhausted themselves

— The Birth of Tragedy, Section 7

Lestrade 14:43, 31 May 2006 (UTC)Lestrade

Modern views[edit]

Do modern classical scholars take any of this book seriously? (E.g. the Apollonian and Dionysian concepts) 22:08, 1 December 2006 (UTC)

Imho the bad reception in its day says more about the time it was written and the projection of contemporary morals onto Greek society than about the content of the book itself. The main article Apollonian and Dionysian mentions some (relatively) modern scholars who deal with the concept, although they are literary, not classical. A modern classicist who deals with Dionysian and (perhaps to a lesser extent) Apollonian concepts would be Carl Ruck. --Tchoutoye 18:27, 15 June 2007 (UTC)

The Classicists I've been taught by are usually acquainted with Nietzsche's positions - pretty anecdotal, but I think his ideas are reasonably influential, if perhaps placed with the brackets (Crazy ol' Friedrich). The problem with the BoT in terms of looking at Attic tragedy is he basically asks us to totally ignore the tragedy itself in favour of some Dionysian 'ur-myth' that we often have no access to. Fantastic article, by the way. If anybody neuters it, I'll send them a parcel of dead animals. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:07, 15 May 2010 (UTC)

Torpedoeing himself[edit]

Nietzsche wrote this book when he was completely under the influence of Schopenhauer. As such, he had lost all interest in philology and his academic career. He wanted to be a philosopher and live as an independent thinker, in imitation of Schopenhauer. With this book, he effectively removed himself from academia by creating the conditions that forced himself to assume the existence of an isolated, extremely serious philosopher who could live on a small university pension.Lestrade (talk) 15:30, 5 September 2008 (UTC)Lestrade

Break with Wagner[edit]

In the "The book" section, the following is written: "(Although Nietzsche would make a noticable break from Wagner later, on the grounds that his appeal to the idolation of christianity and its mummification of becoming was nihilistic and based upon a poor ontological alignment.)" This is incorrect and is typical of a person who has not read Schopenhauer. Nietzsche broke with Wagner because Wagner's Parsifal glorified Schopehauer's concept of denial of the will–to–live, which was in accord with the New Testament. Nietzsche opposed the denial of the will, which he believed was the result of sickness and decadence. Instead, he supported a vigorous, healthy affirmation of the will at all costs. This was evident throughout most of Nietzsche's working life. To say that Nietzsche broke with Wagner because of a "poor ontological alignment" is totally wrong.Lestrade (talk) 14:37, 13 November 2008 (UTC)Lestrade

Loosely translated[edit]

In the "The Book" section, the following appears: "Dionysian and the Apollonian (very loosely: reality undifferentiated by forms versus reality as differentiated by forms)." It may be more informative to change this to "Dionysian and the Apollonian (very loosely: the world as will versus the world as representation)."Lestrade (talk) 21:44, 10 March 2012 (UTC)Lestrade