Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

John P. Anton, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Ofelia Schutte, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Manuel Sosa-Ramírez, Ph.D.


quixotic, life, philosophy, sense, tragedy


This thesis focuses in presenting Miguel de Unamuno’s concept of the tragic. Historically this concept has suffered various changes of meaning and application. If successful the project shall provide the distinct connotation, features, and characteristics that Unamuno attributes to the tragic. His special treatment of the tragic harnesses a way for the will to become aware of its existential condition. This awakening of consciousness evokes an arousal of dichotomies that the will must confront. Faith against reason, religion against science, heart against intellect, are amongst these conflicting predicaments. The will’s constant struggle between these opposing forces constitutes for Unamuno the tragic feeling of life. The will must live between the two and avoid the dangers of ignoring one side of the dichotomy and embrace the other. Quixotic philosophy, Unamuno argues, stands in as a manifestation of the will to salvage itself against the existential calamities of the tragic condition. The quixotic outlook empowers the will for the opportunity to forge an authentic life out of the tragic. Therefore the tragic is a fundamental aspect to understand Unamuno’s existentialism, religion, and philosophy of life.