Quotation by Stanley Edgar Hyman

The great Christian drama of the Passion cannot be tragic because the perfection of Jesus eliminates hybris or any shortcoming, neither pity nor terror in Aristotle's sense is possible because of our inability to identify our own flawed human nature with the image of perfect goodness suffering absolute injustice, and the final victory is always certain. Drama with a human protagonist, insofar as it is Christian, cannot be tragic, since the issue has been settled once and for all by the victory of Jesus in His Incarnation, and His Atonement makes all subsequent private atonement unnecessary for the Christian, who needs only some combination of Faith and Grace to participate in the antecedent act. Dante properly recognized this in identifying his great poetic drama as a divine comedy.
Stanley Edgar Hyman (1919–1970), U.S. critic, educator. "Psychoanalysis and Tragedy," The Promised End, World (1963).
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