"Tragic Play" explores the deep philosophical significance of classic and modern tragedies in order to cast light on the tragic dimensions of contemporary experience. Romanticism, it has often been claimed, brought tragedy to an end, making modernity the age "after" tragedy. Christoph Menke opposes this modernist prejudice by arguing that tragedy remains alive in the present in the distinctively new form of the playful, ironic, and self-consciously performative. Through close readings of plays by William Shakespeare, Samuel Beckett, Heiner M?ller, and Botho Strauss, Menke shows how tragedy re-emerges in modernity as "tragedy of play." In "Hamlet," "Endgame," "Philoktet," and "Ithaka," Menke integrates philosophical theory with critical readings to investigate shifting terms of judgment, curse, reversal, misfortune, and violence.