LECTURE I

INTRODUCTORY

THE subject of the following Lectures is extremely, perhaps unduly, wide, and it is manifest that the treatment must be summary and imperfect. It is only possible to take the most general points, and to handle them in the most general manner. What then may we hope to gain from such a study? What purpose may it be expected to serve? It is something surely to study the growth of any one form in which the imagination of man has taken body; above all, when the form in question is that on which the highest poetic genius has been spent. And we may perhaps go further than this. We may hope, I trust, to extend our knowledge of the treasures offered by imaginative art; and, with this object, I shall always base what I have to say upon particular dramas; upon those which common consent has pronounced to be the most characteristic. And, what is yet more important, we may hope to gain something of that

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Types of Tragic Drama
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