I am hesitant to call this a tragedy, because while it does have certain tragic elements, death, hubris, monologues about lost spouses, etc. it lacks the moral instruction about how to live our lives as humans, and is more focused on the importance of political leaders acting cautiously. Dedicated to Cardinal Mazarin, it is clear that Corneille wrote this play for a very particular audience, advising prudence and reflection in political matters. The play interests the public for the same reason that modern audiences are interested in "The West Wing" or "House of Cards". That is to say that it focuses on the political implications of actions, and how psychology and emotions enters into the political chess game. Ptolemée understands his sister's power, her sexuality, and makes efforts to hide her from César. César is incensed my Ptolemée's actions not for their results but for their optics. Each character has base political motives and instincts and tries to manipulate others around them in order to achieve those ends. This leaves the audience without the moral of plays that discuss the importance to control passion or accept destiny, and instead leaves the spectator with a taste for blood and power in their mouth.