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We've been having this discussion for...a few 1000 years at this point?
The Greeks called this "katharsis" and used it to refer to people's ability to identify with and experience strong emotions through the arts. And the medium could be anything. Paintings. Statues. Poems. Puppets. Musics. Melodramatic actors wearing paper masks pretending to be men who sleep with their moms. Books. Anything could make an emotional reaction.
Through this process they would be healthfully cleaned of all the pent up personal feelings they were too afraid to express in public around others. The wusses.