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In an era of Twitter and televised therapy, it may seem that classic theatre has little place in contemporary society. Accustomed to the indulgences of a celebrity-driven culture, how can modern audiences understand and interpret classic works of drama?

Tragedy in the Age of Oprah: Essays on Five Great Plays, Louis Fantasia provides a provocative examination of the relationship between popular culture and classical tragedy. Making a persuasive argument for the lessons tragedy has to offer today’s audiences, Fantasia examines five enduring works of theatre: Euripides’ Medea, William Shakespeare’s King Lear, Jean Racine’s Phèdre, Friedrich Schiller’s Mary Stuart, and Eugene O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey into Night. Fantasia discusses in detail each of these plays, framing them in a contemporary context that explores the suffering, responsibility, and identity that tragedy advocates.

Each play is presented as an engaging, powerful encounter for the reader, recreating as closely as possible the impact of a great performance. A unique look at the role classical theatre can and should play in contemporary society, these essays reveal the lessons great plays have to teach us about ourselves. Directed toward theatre professionals and students
, Tragedy in the Age of Oprah will also resonate with anyone interested in theatre, literature, and cultural studies.

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