This study is concerned with the different interpretations of Greek tragedy proposed by G.W.F. Hegel. While Hegel's philosophical interest in tragedy as an art form is well known, the motivation for his preoccupation with this art form needs to be further explored. Indeed, why would Hegel, a pivotal figure of German idealism, be inclined to concern himself with a form of poetry that reached its peak in the 5th century B.C.? Precisely this question forms the core of this book. It articulates what the primary stakes are and thereby develop and defend the thesis that Hegel's examination of Greece and tragedy is one that has a direct bearing on the "fate" of politics in the modern world.
A concern with Greek tragedy saturates Hegel's thought from its youthful inception to its grand culminations. Quietly, yet relentlessly the themes, structures, and movements of this art form informs and shapes the heart of the Hegelian system. Martin Thibodeau's book ably traces the significance of tragedy for any understanding of Hegel.--Dennis J. Schmidt, Pennsylvania State University