Philosophica: International Journal for the History of Philosophy

Volume 15, Issue 30, November 2007

Filosofia e Espaço Público

José Pedro Serra
Pages 183-202

Agamémnon en Attendant Godot
Da Heróica Palavra Trágica ao Trágico Silêncio do Exílio

The heir to epic poetry and inseperable from it, Greek tragedy emerged at the same moment in history as the consolidation of the polis, revealing a tremendous unease, a crisis, at the root of which is the architecture of a new understanding of reality, the affirmation of a new logos. A different crisis accompanied the appearance of Contemporary tragedy, a crisis heralded by the announcement that “God is dead”, exemplified in the work of Nietzsche. In contrast to Greek tragedy, Contemporary tragedy asserts not the crisis of the affirmation of reason, but a denunciation of reason’s strategies and devices. Anchored in the rejection of all Absolutes, Contemporary tragedy depicts a world without feeling, of desperate solitude, of absurdity. Waiting for Godot, in the way in which it destroys language and hope, is an excellent example of Contemporary tragedy. Yet, inside this tragic voice, that announces death and nothingness, there is a resistant light that refuses to die that points to Goodness, Truth and Beauty.