Catharsis is the process of releasing pent-up emotions, like fear, anger or sadness. The term derives from the Greek word katharsis, which means “cleansing.”

Catharsis can occur through writing, physical activity, or performing any other type of artistic expression.

Trying to hold in strong emotions for an extended period of time can cause physical and emotional stress.

This can be particularly harmful for youth because their brains are still developing; research has linked negative stress to depression and anxiety disorders in teens.

Catharsis can also help people cope with trauma.

What Is catharsis

What Is catharsis?

Catharsis is the discharge of emotions through either art or an emotional outburst.

Catharsis is often seen as an intense emotional reaction to something we’ve seen, heard or read.

Catharsis can be provoked by a piece of music, a movie, a conversation or even a particular word. It can also be self-induced by using your imagination.

The word catharsis comes from the Greek word katharsis, which means “purification.”

The idea behind catharsis is that it helps us work through our emotions. This can be accomplished by talking about the upsetting event with someone or writing about it in a journal.

Catharsis is different from forms of therapy because you aren’t dealing with real issues or feelings. Rather, you’re imagining them for yourself and reacting to them as if they were real.

Catharsis is also different from repression because you’re not trying to hide your emotions; you’re simply choosing not to focus on them constantly.

Cathartic activities allow you to get rid of feelings weighing you down so you can enjoy life again.

And there’s a long history between catharsis and art.

Catharsis Explained More

In a study published in 2014, researchers found that participants who wrote about their traumatic experiences showed less physiological stress than those who did not write.

They also reported being more willing to talk about their experiences with others.

The healing power of writing has been recognized for centuries. Poet John Milton believed writing was a way to access the divine and encouraged his friends to pen down their deepest thoughts.

Many great works of literature have been created through catharsis: Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” was spurred by her anger at seeing enslaved people in pain on a trip to Cincinnati.

William Faulkner’s novel “As I Lay DyingCatharsis is a term used in literature, rhetoric, film, and drama studies.

Catharsis is an emotional cleansing or release of strong or repressed feelings.

Origins Of Catharsis

Catharsis is derived from the Greek word katharsis (καθαρσις), which means purification. In literature, rhetoric, film, and drama studies, catharsis is the effect of a tragic or other emotion-evoking work of art on the audience.

The viewer’s pity and fear are said to be purged and replaced by pity and fear for the characters.

Aristotle defines tragedy as “the imitation of an action that is serious and also, as having magnitude: complete in itself; with incidents arousing pity and fear, wherewith to accomplish a cathartic function, removing or lessening these emotions.”

The purpose of tragedy, according to Aristotle, is to bring about a specific change in the audience, who leave the theater “purged” or “cleansed” of these negative emotions (pity and fear).

The effect is often associated with a feeling of revulsion against what has been seen on stage.

What Are Examples Of Catharsis?

Examples of catharsis in the literature include:

Hamlet by William Shakespeare, written around 1600. In this play, Prince Hamlet kills his uncle, Claudius, to avenge the murder of Hamlet’s father. When he learns that Claudius’ mother poisoned his father’s ear and not his uncle, he feels guilty and is torn between what he has done and the fact that he has consigned an innocent man to death.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare. In this play, Oberon must use magic to make Titania fall in love with an ass so that Demetrius will stop loving her.

To do so, Oberon makes Puck tell him who slept with Titania but says that it would cause the one who slept with her to fall in love with another creature instead of a human being. Oberon does not believe Puck at first, and when he does, he does not want the spell on the wrong person.

When Oberon finds out it is him, he feels bad for hurting Titania and orders Puck to return everything to normal. As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner.

This novel follows a family as they travel by boat to bury their mother’sCatharsis is a liberating feeling from the tension that builds up in a reader’s mind.

It is similar to releasing emotions after a good cry, but it comes about as a result of some sort of artistic expression. When creating literary pieces, writers often try to make their readers experience catharsis.

Catharsis is something that can only be achieved through art and literature, such as literature and poetry. Tranquilizers are also referred to as ‘calming agents.’

They have been prescribed for many years to people suffering from anxiety disorders or panic attacks. Many people turn to tranquilizers when they feel overwhelmed by their problems.

The use of tranquilizers has grown over time, and they have been used by increasing numbers of people all over the world.

Catharsis is an experience that comes from within us – an outside influence does not cause it, and it cannot be forced upon us by someone else. It comes from deep within our hearts and minds.

Every person can achieve catharsis, but not everyone chooses to exercise this skill to its fullest extent. It can be difficult for people who don’t understand what catharsis really means.

Is Catharsis Good Or Bad?

Is catharsis excellent or bad? The answer is that it depends. The American Heritage Dictionary defines catharsis as: “A purging of the emotions, especially pity and fear, through art.”

A purging of emotions sounds a little scary, doesn’t it? In fact, the word “catharsis” has been a word with negative implications since Aristotle first used it.

So is catharsis excellent or bad? Let’s look at what it means to be emotionally purged and how you can use catharsis to benefit you.

What is Catharsis? Catharsis is a Greek word meaning “purification.” The term is often associated with Aristotle and his book Poetics.

He claimed that tragedy was the most perfect form of literature because it achieved an audience’s most incredible level of catharsis. He felt that tragedy achieved this through pity and fear in response to events within the play.


Pity occurs when feeling sympathy for another person’s suffering; fear occurs when feeling concerned for one’s safety or well-being. These two responses create an emotional release for the audience — they feel as though their emotions have been purged.

The idea that catharsis is a positive thing comes Catharsis is a word that’s come to us from ancient Greek, where it means purification or cleansing. In modern times we have come to understand it as a sort of release that brings relief or comfort to the person involved.

Tears are cathartic because they relieve stress and tension. Laughter is cathartic because it can be a release of frustration, anxiety, and anger.

Physical activity can work too — running, for example, burns off feelings, especially if you’re angry or frustrated about something. Catharsis isn’t always good for you, however.

It can be harmful if it keeps you from dealing with problems sensibly. If your “cathartic” response to every problem or bad situation is to drink heavily, that can be very bad for you.

If you’re trying to get out of debt and use credit cards to deal with your frustrations, that’s also probably not a good idea. If the grief is still too fresh, writing about the loss may help you find some sense of peace and closure in your life again. One thing you should not do is just throw yourself into work and pretend as if nothing happened — this won’t help you move on with your life; instead, it will leave you more devastated.

What Is Catharsis and Why Is It Important In Tragedy?

Catharsis is a term that comes from ancient Greek, and it simply refers to an emotional cleansing. In tragedy, this might mean that the audience members can work through their fears about death or living in a dangerous world.

They may also be able to come to grips with some of the things they feel guilty about in their own lives. As a result of these emotional cleansings, tragedy can profoundly affect those who experience it.

To achieve catharsis in tragedy, though, there are certain elements the writer must include. The audience must care deeply about the characters they see onstage or onscreen.

That’s why many tragedies feature protagonists who face extreme challenges but still try to do what is right and good. The hero may even make mistakes along the way, but as long as he tries to fix them, the audience can identify with his struggle.

Aside from the main character, several other essential elements must be present for a tragedy to produce catharsis in its audience members. The events in their story have to have meaning and relevance; otherwise, they won’t be able to relate them to their own lives or learn anything from them.

The audience also needs to feel like thereTragedy is defined by two elements: suffering and catharsis. Catharsis is the purging of emotions such as fear, pity, disgust, and horror.

Catharsis in tragedy is what allows characters to survive the terrible events of the plot and move on with their lives. A tragedy without catharsis would leave characters in a never-ending state of suffering.

Tears are one way that this catharsis can be shown on stage or screen. For instance, in Shakespeare’s Othello, Desdemona’s father begs Othello to spare his daughter’s life…Catharsis is a term that comes from ancient Greece when people believed that a certain kind of emotional release was necessary to maintain psychological health.

In some ways, the concept has been around for a lot longer than that — it’s even mentioned in one of Homer’s oldest surviving works of literature, The Iliad. Catharsis is an essential part of tragedy because it’s what helps audiences feel cleansed and purged after witnessing events that are traditionally considered tragic.

Aristotle most famously advanced the concept of catharsis in his Poetics, a text that established many rules for writing tragedy. Aristotle believed tragedy should contain three elements: action, character, and plot.

It is the third element, plot, which Aristotle believed held the key to catharsis. What Aristotle meant by catharsis is not precisely what it means today — he believed that plot was so crucial to tragedy because it provided a way for an audience to see both sides to a conflict or issue.

He believed this allowed people to see how they could avoid similar conflicts or issues in their own lives.”

What Is Catharsis Composed Of In Storytelling?

In storytelling, catharsis refers to the emotional release of tension that the audience feels once a particular story is over. It’s a literary term that describes how the story goes from “bad” to “good.”

In other words, it’s the point when all of the trouble in the story is resolved. The character finds what they’re looking for, or they defeat their enemy.

Like all elements of art, catharsis has been around since Ancient Greece. Aristotle first coined the term to describe how an audience member would feel after watching a tragedy.

The Greek word “catharsis” actually means “purification.” Aristotle thought that watching tragedy helped purge people of negative emotions.

It made them feel better because they could see something negative happen to someone else instead of themselves.

Catharsis has been defined and redefined many times since Aristotle’s time. Some say it needs to be a surprise. Some say not everyone needs to get what they want to be satisfied with a story, and some say that stories need to build up tension in one area so it can be released in another.

No one definition is universally accepted, but mst people agree on three things: art should cause some kind of emotional response in the audience.

Catharsis is very important for achieving the goals of storytelling. Catharsis is the release of emotions that occurs within an audience.

It is often discussed in terms of tragedy, but it can also occur in other forms of storytelling. In comedy, for example, a character may have their worst fears come true just for a laugh.

This form of catharsis usually does not involve relief or resolution. Towards the beginning of the 21st century, much research has been done into what catharsis is and how it operates in literature and film.

One way to understand the function of catharsis is to think about what happens when we watch a movie or read a book.

After reading or watching something that has provoked an emotional response, we often feel we’ve gotten rid of negative emotion. We may be angry at first, but after reading a sad story, we feel better.

At least temporarily, our bad mood has been “purged” by stories that provoke sadness or fear in us. This idea is not new; Aristotle wrote about the cathartic effect of tragedy on his audiences. However, it has only recently been possible to study this phenomenon scientifically.

What Does Catharsis Mean?

Catharsis, in psychology, is an emotional discharge that brings about relief from strong or repressed emotions. The word itself is a little crazy—it originated with a figure in Greek mythology known for purging people of their sins by cleansing them with fire.

But the meaning has since been pared down to mean more ordinary, everyday acts of relieving stress. Trying to achieve catharsis through writing isn’t always the most productive way to go about it, but there are other ways to encourage this sense of release.

Daniel Kahneman, a psychologist and author, suggests that you try to get in touch with your emotions and feel them as you let them out—this way, you can understand them better.

Try to describe your feelings in as much detail as possible when writing about whatever situation made you feel angry or sad. This allows your subconscious mind to continue working on the problem even after your conscious mind has set it aside.


What does catharsis mean? Catharsis is a Greek word meaning purification or purgation. In the context of art, catharsis means “the emotional release brought about by an artwork.”

For example, witnessing King Lear’s tragedy may help you purge your emotions if you are overwhelmed with anger and sadness. Catharsis is a critical aspect of the experience of art.

It allows us to learn from tragic events without suffering in real life. We can learn from King Lear that we should be kind to our daughters, even when they misbehave. We can also learn that it doesn’t pay to be too prideful and that we should acknowledge our faults.

These lessons are not as crucial as learning them through personal experience, but they can help us avoid repeating our mistakes.

Catharsis is closely related to the concept of katharsis in Aristotle’s Poetics (c. 335 BCE). Aristotle argued that tragedy produces feelings of pity and fear in its viewers. Still, once these emotions have been experienced, they are purged from the audience’s psyche and replaced by a sense of awe and wonder at the natural order of things.

Emotional Catharsis In Cinema

I’ve been thinking about how emotions are portrayed in cinema and how emotional catharsis is a critical part of the film. If a film doesn’t move you to feel something, you’re less likely to remember it.

This is true of both positive and negative emotions. Emotional catharsis can be a powerful tool for filmmakers. It allows them to create powerful effects on their audiences and evoke memorable feelings about their work.

It’s also a powerful tool for an audience, as we can use these feelings to remember more about the films we see. Films that make us feel something stick with us more than those that don’t.

It’s easy to get caught up in the magic of filmmaking or the craft of creating stories. Still, it’s necessary to remember that every film is made with an audience in mind — even if the filmmaker is making art films or experimental films (which I love). Audiences have their mental models and consider what they know about specific genres, characters, plots, and so on when watching films.

When a film successfully evokes a feeling within its audience, it makes them feel like the film did what it was supposed to do — whether that’s telling a good story or being entertaining or being educational or whatever.

Is it possible to have an emotional catharsis at the movies?

I think so. I am very much in favor of emotional catharsis in general.

I think we need to let go of things that bother us, and I think we need to do it often and in as many ways as we can because holding on to our anger, sadness, or disappointment is bad for us. We get bitter and twisted and lonely, and that’s no good.

Tears are a great way to let go of all that shit. And the movies are the greatest place for tears because you’re seeing other people’s sadness on a big screen.

It’s so real, so palpable – it’s like you’re feeling it yourself! You can be sobbing over some poor sap who’s lost her mother in a plane crash while sitting there next to your friend with a bucket of popcorn on your lap (and maybe a few stray kernels down your shirt), and that makes you feel better somehow. It’s cathartic.

What Is Catharsis Used For

Catharsis is defined as the purification or purgation of emotions. It refers to releasing strong, repressed feelings through some form of artistic expression.


Catharsis is used when a person has been holding on to their emotions and needs a way to let them go. Catharsis stands in contrast with other methods of emotional releases, such as repression and sublimation; both latter techniques are more active, while catharsis is more passive.

The process may be simple or complicated and may vary from person to person and situation to situation. Some people might find it helpful to write their feelings down or create art while experiencing the cathartic moment, while others might prefer solitude. The important part is that the individual seeks a means of expressing themselves.

Catharsis can be used for personal growth and healing from a traumatic event or experience.

For example, if an individual feels that they have suppressed too much emotion for too long, they might seek catharsis through therapy. They might also use the art for self-discovery and emotional expression by writing poetry, drawing pictures, singing songs, or playing music.

Catharsis is a psychological term that describes releasing emotions and other stress-related mental states. The term shares its Latin root with the word “cathartic,” which means cleansing or purging.

Treatment can be provided by a psychologist, psychiatrist, or other mental health professional. It can be done through counseling sessions or expressive therapy, such as art therapy, drama therapy, or music therapy.

Sometimes, treatment may also include a combination of several different therapies. Catharsis is often considered an essential part of treatment for patients diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

This is because PTSD is often characterized by suppressed and repressed memories that remain trapped in the subconscious mind until confronted in one form or another. It may also help relieve symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Catharsis is a way to eliminate negative emotions like anger, anxiety, and fear. It can help you eliminate pent-up emotions that have built up inside you over a long period.

Catharsis helps you release these negative emotions from your mind, body, and soul. It is a therapeutic process that is useful for both children and adults.

Some therapists believe it is an essential part of the therapy process because it makes it possible for patients to face their fears and challenge themselves in new ways.

Catharsis can be especially helpful for those who have experienced trauma or other negative life events. Because those who experience trauma may repress these experiences, so they may not be able to integrate them into their identities.

To overcome these traumas, they need to face them head-on and fully realize what has happened to them. This allows them to move forward and leave these bad experiences behind them.

Catharsis can help the person experiencing trauma work through their emotions to come to terms with what has occurred. Catharsis can involve many different techniques, but it often involves dramatic role-play or creating art that represents the traumatic event.

Catharsis Literary Definition

Catharsis is the purification of emotions that results from visualizing their consequences. In literature, catharsis is a reader’s emotional reaction to tragic fiction or drama, which results in an improved understanding of life.


In literature, catharsis refers to a reader’s emotional reaction to tragic fiction or drama, which results in an improved understanding of life.

Catharsis (Greek: from κάθαρσις, katharsis; “a cleansing”).

[1] is used in English to describe two different concepts:

  • The purification of emotions—the term is used chiefly by critics and literary theorists; and
  • The purification of the soul — the term is used chiefly by religious writers.

The word is derived from a Greek word meaning purification.

[2] While some literary critics use it as a synonym for tragedy, others apply it specifically to works of fiction, as in Aristotle’s discussion of tragedy.

[3] The philosopher Aristotle used the concept to discuss tragedy—explicitly referring to pity and fear as positive emotions evoked by a tragic plot, resulting in the purging or cleansing of these negative emotions.

Catharsis is a term used in literature to refer to the emotional release experienced by readers. “Catharsis” is derived from the Greek word katharsis, which means “cleansing.” In literature, it refers to the processes of identifying with a character and their experience.

Emotions or actions as if they were your own. The emotional release comes with crying during a sad movie, laughing at a funny one, or cheering for the main character in an adventure story.

Tearjerker movies like The Notebook, Terms of Endearment, and Titanic can cause viewers to weep copiously. Comedies such as Bridesmaids and Pretty Woman can make people laugh so hard they snort.

And adventure stories like The Hunger Games, Harry Potter series, and Star Wars help people believe in the triumph of good over evil and cheer for the hero or heroine who finds love despite all odds.

Catharsis has been described as a kind of purging of negative emotions. It is considered healthy for individuals and society as it helps release tension and negative emotions that might otherwise build up inside us.

History Of Emotional Catharsis

Human history is rife with examples of catharsis as a fundamental element in social change. From the earliest recorded instances where catharsis was used to nurse the sick and assist those suffering, emotional release has been an integral part of healing the human spirit.

History Of Emotional Catharsis Breakdown

It is difficult to pinpoint the exact origin of emotional catharsis in western culture, but many attribute its genesis to what is now known as the ancient Greek tradition. It was believed that it was possible for a person to be possessed by certain negative emotions or demons. Since these emotions were thought to have such a powerful hold on the individual, it was believed that cathartic rituals were needed to release them from within.

These rituals were performed by priests or priestesses and helped someone achieve total emotional release.

They would perform these rituals before festivals which involved purification and cleansing oneself. In fact, many of these rituals involved specific actions designed to bring about this type of emotional release. The most well-known of these rituals was the Eleusinian Mysteries which took place every five years in Greece.

This particular ritual involved initiation ceremonies and long periods of fasting, culminating with a cathartic ceremony involving music and dance.

The history of emotional catharsis goes back to Aristotle. He believed that a writer could purge the emotions of their own life through their writing. This purging helped make them feel more clear-headed, more in control.

This argument is still used today when arguing that writing can help with depression and other mental illnesses.

Towards the end of the 19th century, a well-known psychologist named William James published an essay called “What Makes A Life Significant?”. In this essay, he discussed the importance of being able to release our emotions to live healthier lives. He argued that this process is at the core of human nature.

It is important to note that he did not necessarily argue that art was necessary for this catharsis; rather, it could be any activity that allows us to express our emotions honestly and openly.

In the early 20th century, Carl Jung argued that all creativity came from this same outlet for emotion. He said:

“The creative mind plays with the objects it loves.”

He argued further that all art produced could be traced back to some form of emotional catharsis within the artist’s life

At roughly the same time as Jung, Sigmund Freud was writing about what we nw call ‘psychological.

What Is Catharsis In Film?

Catharsis is a term that comes from the Greek theater. It was used to describe the audience’s reaction to seeing something tragic or horrifying, and they would feel better after watching. Although it is still used in this way today, it has evolved in its definition. In the film, catharsis can be described as an emotional release of an audience through a character or characters in a movie.

This can happen at many different moments throughout a story. There are three main types of catharsis:

Melodramatic Catharsis

Melodramatic catharsis occurs when the main character is put through an extreme situation affecting their mental state. For example, you have your typical bad guy who is just living his life doing bad things to people and then gets caught doing one last bad thing by the hero and is caught, leading him to confess his past and his reasons for becoming evil. This confession causes the villain to change his ways and become good again by the end of the movie and thus providing melodramatic catharsis for the audience.

Extra-Narrative Catharsis

Extra-narrative catharsis happens when the story provides some sort of escape from real life.

What is catharsis in a film? Catharsis is a form of emotional release from watching a film or reading a text. It’s the feeling you get when you’ve had an emotionally challenging experience and feel more settled after having it. Catharsis is especially common in tragedies, horror films, and action movies.

Tristan Huw Jones, writing for Mind Hacks, outlines four key elements that define catharsis:

Clear cause and effect relationships between events. The viewer knows what causes the emotions they feel while watching the film.

Character transformation. The characters undergo a fundamental change in response to the story’s events, and we see this change in their behavior throughout the film.

The viewer experiences an emotional release and satisfaction at being able to make sense of emotionally difficult material.

The viewers can personally identify with the material being presented on screen, which helps them feel connected to it and gives them an emotional stake in what happens to the characters.

The Value Of Catharsis

One of the most powerful ways to trigger the flow of ideas is to move the body. The effect is similar to that of emotion. The body’s physiological response to emotion triggers a chemical response in the brain, which, in turn, stimulates further thought.

The same is true for physical exercise: as we move our bodies, we stimulate our minds.

We can also trigger this process through catharsis. When we express ourselves through art, music, or dance, we allow ourselves to experience our emotions more fully. We become less inhibited and more expressive.

This helps us find clarity and answers to complex problems. It also allows us to release pent-up emotions that might otherwise build up and cause a negative physical reaction, such as ulcers, stress, or high blood pressure.

Exercise Your Brain

To stimulate your creative thinking, take some time each day and do something you enjoy: listen to music, read a book, go for a walk or run, play with your kids, paint a picture – anything as long as it stimulates you enough physically and emotionally to trigger new ideas.

Some say that writing can be therapeutic.

I’d agree, but I don’t think you have to write something meaningful or profound to get the benefits. The act of writing something, anything, helps relieve stress and helps you to feel better about yourself and your situation.

The value of catharsis is not unique to writing. Playing a sport or listening to music also can have a therapeutic effect on your well-being. However, these activities are often pursued because they are enjoyable (or at least they’re intended to be).

Writing can be like that — it can be fun if you enjoy it — but it can also work. So the question then becomes whether the benefit you gain from writing offsets the effort required to do it.

For me, the answer is yes. My daily blog posts take me about 20 minutes each (and this is after I’ve already spent time thinking about what I’m going to write), so for me, at least, the value of catharsis outweighs the effort involved.

Of course, there’s no reason that you couldn’t do something similar with a different activity that gives you more enjoyment (or more money).