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Kanye west is better than any Greek tragedian.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/7/2013 Category: Arts
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,605 times Debate No: 33416
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (7)
Votes (1)




In the case of the classical Greek tragedy, the objective of the playwrights was to evoke a CATHARSIS.

Wikipedia states that a catharsis is a sudden emotional breakdown or climax that constitutes overwhelming feelings of great pity, sorrow, laughter, or any extreme change in emotion that results in renewal, revitalization. Listening to Kanye Wests fifth LP "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy", one can quickly get the idea that Mr. West tried to achieve the same thing - to make people feel.

So let's go with that:

If we throw away all bias and prejudice based on the fact that most Greek tragedy (let's say, for example, Sofocles' Antigone) is academically valued and appreciated and MBDTF(My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy) is not, we end up comparing them on the ground of evoking emotions, a catharsis.

Antigone may be relevant today as much as it was in the Greek times (and will continue to be for a long time) in field of motifs and ideas, but bringing up feelings is where it falls flat. The world has simply changed too much for the ancient Greek bringers of catharsis to remain as powerful as they were. MBDTF, on the other hand, was one of the most emotionally "powerful" albums I have ever listened to, and I strongly believe I'm not alone in this.

It does, in whole, convey such powerful sense of emotion, the feeling that you are a different person than an hour ago when you hear the last words on "Who Will Survive In America"

Kanye West is the Sartre of our generation.


You say that greek tragedies/comedies are not as effective at delivering a catharsis to their viewers/listeners/readers/what have you due to their age; they have expired in a way. While it may be true that every emotion felt back then about certain topics doesn't correspond to the same feelings today, that is no reason to simply neglect these older writings. If it were not for the greek heroes, the glorification of said heroes would not be as extensive and in turn the need to provide a catharsis to your audience would not be as necessary. The greeks provided the structure for today's tragic and heroic tales, so shunning them for not going above and beyond just the framework of a story is as unnecessary and stupid as calling your ancestors lame because they didn't invent iPhones.
Debate Round No. 1


I agree with you on the point that these plays are still very much relevant today. Sadly they are simply are too dated to accomplish the very thing they are meant for.

I judge art on the grounds of what the artist themselves were trying to accomplish. In this case of tragedies it is evoking a CATHARSIS.

My beautiful dark twisted fantasy is a wonderful example of a modern tragedy and is easily comparable in this subject.


The only problem is that we have no idea how profound the emotions of those at the time were in response to these stories. Kanye's success is very much dependent on his time period, where music similar to his is very popular. I do not believe that had Kanye West's life taken place in any other time period, he (or anyone else for that matter) would develop a musical style like the LP that has affected you so greatly. In a similar trend, the greek style of storytelling relied heavily on the ideals of the time. Living in ancient Greece, listening to MBDTF would probably not induce a catharsis because the listener would have nothing to relate the emotions that the LP wants to evoke. Similarly, you are affected by Kanye's storytelling much more deeply than any greek tragedy can muster. I, personally, am greatly touched by Pink Floyd's "Shine on You Crazy Diamond" for the catharsis i feel when listening to it. My point is that everyone is made happy by certain things, discontented by others, and still maddened by others: nobody is alike in this regard. Objectively calling Kanye's music "better" because of your emotions is not a fair universal statement and cannot be displayed as such.

Furthermore, how exactly do you *know* that the greek plays did not evoke as much of a catharsis as Kanye's music does? We do not have many records of greek history in this regard, so a more indirect approach to finding out the emotions of the greeks is required. The greeks were so heavily affected by the stories of the time that they based their religion around them. The ironic cruelty of Orpheus' curiosity getting the better of him was so powerful to the greeks that they built it into their very culture and daily life. They worshipped these gods, each of whom caused immense pain and joy to the victims of their stories, both out of respect and out of fear. The power of these stories reverberated enough inside of every greek at the time that they actually revered the powerful figures they had made for themselves in the stories. Even today, millions read and re-read the tales of tragedy and heroism from back then. Only one state could be powerful enough to keep one being drawn back in for more, and that mental state is catharsis.
Debate Round No. 2


I agree with you and concede to your arguments. It isnt very fair to take take the products of different artists from different times and compare them in same regard.

You could say that the greeks were just as effective as anyone today at evoking emotion.

I would like to thank you for posting your views and debating with me.


Thank you for an exciting and invigorating debate, and i hope to see more of you on this site.
Debate Round No. 3
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by kingkaba 5 years ago

That is a ridiculous thing to say, Kanye West is held in the highest regard when it comes to hip-hop. He is considered one of the greatest by millions.

The funny thing is you probably havent heard a single album by the man. Which is typical. Too many people have opinions about things they know nothing about and the more ignorant they are the more opinions they have.
Posted by masterdebater6969 5 years ago
False, Kayne West is better than nothing.
Posted by StevenDixon 5 years ago
"Im not sure if you are informed but hip hop relies almost exclusively to beat loops."

"oh wait...every hip hop "artist" does that."

Also, Kanye West's music does give me overwhelming feelings of pity for whoever has to listen to his filth.
Posted by Ragnar 5 years ago
"overwhelming feelings of great pity," he does manage this very well. Regardless of any dislike for the man, he's a successful entertainer.
Posted by kingkaba 5 years ago

Im not sure if you are informed but hip hop relies almost exclusively to beat loops.
Posted by StevenDixon 5 years ago
I checked that CD out after you talked about it....simple garbage hip hop cd with a bunch of idiot rapper cameo's.

Hell of a life has THE SAME BEAT THE ENTIRE SONG. Seriously...disgusting. Oh look I added a layer to this beat and that's the chorus, obviously a genius...oh wait...every hip hop "artist" does that.
Posted by StevenDixon 5 years ago
Yeah...your praise of Kanye West is sickening, you clearly need to listen to Between the buried and me's Hypersleep Parallax 2. It's a rollercoaster of emotions and the music is illustrative of the story.

I'd debate that Between the buried and me makes better music than Kanye west.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by StevenDixon 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro conceded and didn't even support his premise for the debate HE created....why would you create a debate then not even give an ounce of support for your side? I'm confused.