Since the publication of her magnum opus, Upheavals of Thought, Martha Nussbaum has been at the forefront of efforts to build democratic and cosmopolitan forms of solidarity on the basis of a shared vulnerability to suffering. Unpersuaded that the safe and privileged citizens of the world will concern themselves with the fate of distant or unknown others simply out of an abstract concern for their human dignity, she has invested her intellectual energies in spruiking compassion as an ethical motivator. Nussbaum proceeds on the basis that compassion is among the more reliable of the moral sentiments, that the sight of others in pain is likely to elicit projects of helping because it puts people in mind of their own, all too human, vulnerability to suffering. At the same time, she is acutely aware that compassion is a notoriously partial emotion whose ethical potential is restricted by its tendency to stick ‘close to home’. Her attention has thus naturally turned to the question of how compassion might be cultivated in such a way that it generates more reliable responses to distant suffering. In this endeavour, Nussbaum has appealed to tragic drama as an indispensable tool of civic education. From her perspective, such works of art can help to expand the boundaries of compassion by encouraging their audience to see that they share similar possibilities with people different from themselves and are equally vulnerable to disasters and misfortunes. By learning (or re-learning) how to see like the audience at a Greek tragedy, Nussbaum hopes that the citizens of democratic states will come to understand when their compassion is warranted, and feel obliged to alleviate the suffering of others regardless of where they are located.