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Catharsis (from Greek κάθαρσις, "purification" or "cleansing") is the purification and purgation of emotions—particularly pity and fear—through art or any extreme change in emotion that results in renewal and restoration.
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- A tragedy, then, is the imitation of an action that is serious and also, as having magnitude, complete in itself; in language ... not in a narrative form; with incidents arousing pity and fear, wherewith to accomplish its catharsis of such emotions.
- Aristotle, Poetics, 1449b24 ff.
- The establishment does everything in itspower to ensure that revolutionary rage is redirected into empty outlets which provide pressure releases for desires that could become dangerous if allowed to progress.
- George L. Jackson, Blood in My Eye (1971), p. 186