1. Plato - all art is mimesis (representation or imitation) of nature, a copy of objects in the physical world. Poetry is a copy of a copy - thus leading away from the truth rather than toward it.
- Ion - Socrates & Ion (a rhapsode) debate about the rhapsode's knowledge of poetry and the nature of poetry. Socrates says that poetry is not an art form but a form of divine madness. "The poet doesn't make poetry until he becomes inspired and goes out of his mind. Poetry feeds and waters passions."
- En theos - in God - God is in you (enthusiastic)
- Logos - fact, reason, or truth
- Mythos - fiction, emotion, fable
- Logocentric - to center one's self in fact/truth
- Republic - Socrates claims poets lie & should be banished from the republic or at least censored. Critics & poets knowledge is inferior to others. Socrates is for censorship because the art is twice removed from the representation. He wanted to censor art that provokes bad/harmful behavior & exile artists who arouse suspicion/nontraditional thoughts from the ideal world.
- Phaedrus - discussion of the evils of writing. For Plato, the only good memory is anamnesis (the recollection of spiritual truths through genuine, living wisdom; or a remembrance of things from the past). The great sin is not knowing and the only way to gain genuine truth is through spoken word & eye contact, not writing. Plato says literature is useless, bad for you, and untrue.
- Poetics - 6 parts of tragedy (most to least important)
1. Plot - representation of action, best resolution shows a character's realization or his/her
2. Character - should come from high position in society or the story is unremarkable.
Their fate's should be linked to their own error (hamartia)
3. Thought - the message/moral
6. Spectacle - *Oedipus Rex is the perfect example of a tragedy
Aristotle says art is not imitative, it's expressive and he argues that artists should not be censored b/c peoplecan learn lessons through the character's mistakes. The artist is not copying an object, he is representing and embodying the essence of the object.
- methos - plot/story
- ethos - character
- dianoia - theme
Longinus - On Sublimity - distinctive feature is the role of emotion (pathos) in art. The presence of noble passion is essential for reaching sublimity. Writer's achieve greatness not just by rhetoric, but by feelings, thought, & intelligence. The experience of reading/hearing to great art leads audience to feel ecstasy. Sublimity uplifts the spirit of the reader, fills reader with astonishment/pride, arouses noble thoughts, and suggests more than words can convey.
Longinus' 5 sources of sublimity:
1. Great thoughts/Lofty mind
2. Strong Emotions/Noble feeling
3. Certain figures of thought & speech
4. Noble Diction
5. Dignified word arrangement
*The difference between Longinus & Aristotle is that L. focuses on emotional psychology of author as well as that of the audience.
Dante - Letter to Can Grande - Dante confronts the problem of how to understand & construr textual meaning - examines relationship between critical principles & interpretation of specific parts of texts.
4 Senses of allegorical interpretation:
1. Literal - literally what a text says
2. Allegorical - extended metaphor/talking about 1 thing but meaning another
4. Anagogical - level that supercedes all others/transcendent & mystical
*Text is polysemous (open to many meanings)
Sir Philip Sidney - An Apology for Poetry - 3 parts
1. First portion defends dignity of poetry - demonstrates its superiority to philosophy and history b/c it combines moral precepts of one while entertaining examples of another.
2. Deals with specific objections raised against poetry, (in particular, poetry that lies). "The poet does not affirm anything, so therefore does not lie."
3. Examines English literature - offers criticism
- Poet describes nature in a more beautiful way than it actually is
- Poet idealizes the world
- Poetry uses figurative language not to lie, but to convey a deeper meaning
Samuel Johnson - The business of the poet is to examine, not the individual, but the species ; to remark general properties & large appearances. The function of literature is to make you a better person. The poet gives us representation of general nature.
Coleridge - Biographia Literaria - contains an inquiry into the defense of imagination. Artist is god-like figure w/ god-like powers. Argues that art is a creative power of genius who is in complete control of a situation, not out of his mind.
- Definition of imagination: Two imaginations - The primary, which is the "living power" of God, in the eternal act of creation, it's also the power of creation in each person. The secondary imagination dissolves in order to recreate, making a whole and harmonizing as a "synthetic & magical" power.
Shelley - Defence of Poetry - Poetry combines wisdom w/delight - it's a source of pleasure. Readers seek to imitate noble traits of heroes - seeing the world through another's eyes increases tolerance.
Matther Arnold - Sweetness & Light - Touchstone - specimens of poetry of the very highest quality that save us from fallacious estimates of value. Primarily concerned with moral tone & personality of author rather than the resources of language or meanings of texts.
Walter Pater - Conclusion to the Rennaisance - Mainly concerned with the critic maximizing pleasure, not contributing to knowledge. The only thing that matters is art - he coined the phrase "art for art's sake." Period Approach Element
Ancient Mimetic World
Neoclassical Pragmatic Affect
Romantic Expressive Artist
Modert Objective Text