Friedrich Nietzsche promptly stepped in, snatched the whip from the man’s hands and threw his arms around the horse’s neck, sobbing uncontrollably. The differentiation between enigma and decoding of the enigma is a fairly modern phenomenon, whose articulation we partly owe to Schopenhauer and later, to Nietzsche himself. The opposite of emotional cleansing or catharsis takes place in the sort of drama Nietzsche is interested in: affective contamination and co-participation in the life of the magnificent monsters, i.e. of those powerful emotions and feelings that tend to overwhelm the self. Nietzsche wrote The Birth of Tragedy aged 26, while on convalescent leave after a four-week experience, in September 1871, as a medical orderly on the western front lines of the Franco–Prussian war. The pre-classical age of Aeschylus and Sophocles that Nietzsche is fond of re-describing for the modern mind is the expression of a world implanted in myth.