“And there are plays – and books and songs and poems and dances – that are perhaps upsetting or intricate or unusual, that leave you unsure, but which you think about perhaps the next day, and perhaps for a week, and perhaps for the rest of your life.
Because they aren’t clean, they aren’t neat, but there’s something in them that comes from the heart, and, so, goes to the heart.
What comes from the head is perceived by the audience, the child, the electorate, as manipulative. And we may succumb to the manipulative for a moment because it makes us feel good to side with the powerful. But finally we understand we’re being manipulated. And we resent it.
Tragedy is a celebration not of our eventual triumph but of the truth – it is not a victory but a resignation. Much of its calmative power comes, again, from that operation described by Shakespeare: when remedy is exhausted, so is grief.”
David Mamet – Three Uses of the Knife: On the Nature and Purpose of Drama