Download Ancient Philosophical Poetics (Key Themes in Ancient by Malcolm Heath PDF

By Malcolm Heath

What's poetry? Why do people produce and devour it? What results does it have on them? Can it supply them perception into fact, or is it dangerously deceptive? This e-book is a wide-ranging examine of the very assorted solutions which historic philosophers gave to such questions. a longer dialogue of Plato's Republic indicates how the 2 discussions of poetry are built-in with one another and with the dialogue's imperative subject matters. Aristotle's Poetics is learn within the context of his knowing of poetry as a traditional human behaviour and an intrinsically beneficial section of a great human existence. chapters hint the improvement of the later Platonist culture from Plutarch to Plotinus, Longinus and Porphyry, exploring its highbrow bills to Epicurean, allegorical and Stoic methods to poetry. it is going to be crucial examining for classicists in addition to historical philosophers and glossy philosophers of artwork and aesthetics.

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Additional resources for Ancient Philosophical Poetics (Key Themes in Ancient Philosophy)

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Exposure to the wrong kind of poetry can still undermine their character and moral beliefs in adulthood (605c–d): Even the best of us, when we hear Homer or any other of the tragic poets imitating one of the heroes in a state of grief and making a lengthy speech in his lamentations, or even singing and beating his breast, you know that we enjoy it, and that surrendering ourselves and being carried along, sharing his suffering and taking it seriously, we praise as a good poet whoever most puts us in this state.

Rather, he is concerned with the stories’ moral effects. Falsehoods that are beneficial are allowed (provided that suitably qualified people are in charge of deciding which ones they are); truths that might have a bad effect should be suppressed. 4 Republic 3: how p oe t s m a y s a y i t Socrates turns next from the content of poetry to the way it is presented. All myth and poetry is narrative (diēgēsis): it tells us what has happened, is happening, or will happen (392d). There are three ways in which a poet can narrate (392d–4c).

There is more to imitate, because there is more variety in the man’s behaviour. The behaviour of the man who reacts in a calm, rational way is stable, uniform, and dull to watch. ’). Socrates’ unexpectedly indirect route has thus circled back to the audience. 21 So (Point 6) to be successful with a large audience that does not have its appetites and emotions under rational control, imitative poetry must portray people behaving in ways that are not under rational control. Hence imitative poetry has the effect it does have on audiences (cf.

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