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Platos objections against poetry and Aristotles replies Objection from philosophical point of view 1.

Art (painting, music and other fine arts) is an imperfect imitation of an imperfect imitation, twice removed from reality, hence a world of shadows and falsehood. Explanation According to Plato, the world is a region in which the individual life appears for a movement and then vanishes away. The poets or painters hold up a mirror to the material objectsearth, plant, animal, mankindand catch a reflection of the world around him, which is itself the reflection of the ideal. Therefore, the actual world stands nearer to the ideal than the artistic imitation, and fine art is a copy of a copy, twice removed from the truth. As a philosopher, Plato also argues that philosophy sees truth as it exists in the idea or pure form, while artist and poets are busy with images and imitation of truths which corrupt men in real life. Plato writes: let us tell her (poetry) that there is an ancient quarrel between philosophy and poetry. We are very conscious of her charms, but we may not on that account betray the truth (Republic, 10th book). Aristotle defends the first charge against poetry in his theory of imitation. (Aristotle uses mimesis in defining art) Art is an imitation of not what has been or is, rather it is an imitation of what ought to be or might be. Explanation: Aristotle talks about two things: 1. Matter 2. Form

Matter is the material of which a thing is made and form is the force which is present in the matter. The function of the force is to mould the matter into a perfect or an ideal form. But Aristotle says that this force fails to succeed because the matter is obstructive. In result we do not see any ideal thing in the world, but by imaginative faculty the artist imagines and imitates what the force tries to achieve, the ideal thing. In other words, in nature there is a ceaseless and upward progress, everything is constantly growing up and moving up, and the poets imitate this upward movement of the nature with the help of imaginative faculty, according to the idea or image in his mind. Thus poetry is not the imitation of the external world, but it is the manifestation of the ideal or higher truth. 2. Objection from moral point of view Plato divides the human personality into three parts: Cognition (reasoning power) Conation (will power/ determination) Affection (emotion/ feelings/sentiments) The above personality traits represent the order and balance of an ideal man. If you change the above order than the personality of the man is distorted. According to Plato, the individuals who are ruled by cognition are philosophers and they implement order on the people of the second faculty, conation. The members of the second faculty (conation) are soldiers and they put into control the ordinary people. Plato places poets in the category of common people who are ruled by their emotion and feelings. Plato writes: poetry feeds and waters the passions and sentiments of the people which damage human personality. If passionate and emotional people become the ruler, the state of the ideal world will demolish. Therefore, poets have no place in his ideal world.

The second objection of Plato is defended by Aristotle in his theory of catharsis. According to Aristotle, poetry raises emotions and feelings, but it is wrong that these emotions can damage human personality rather they heal it. Because catharsis is produced which gives satisfaction and fulfillment of the expression. And expression of thoughts and feelings is necessary for a human, but the expression of feelings must be in a proper channel and in acceptable way to society. He also says that the suppression of feelings and emotions is harmful for the moral development of personality. Sigmund fraud calls it sublimation, and he emphasizes that a man must express his emotion and feelings but in acceptable way to society. If a person does not express his feelings they go to his unconsciousness and later come to the consciousness in a damaging manner. He uses sublimation for catharsis. 3. Loss of Humans Personality Objection from Moral Point of View Plato says that poetry, drama and other art have a harmful effect on human personality. He says that after watching a play you identify yourself with one of the characters in the play, and in the same way you again identify yourself with another character by watching another play. So you lose your original personality and look for your personality in other people which is corrupting and bad. Aristotles Reply Art and literature produce sympathy in humans for the suffering of humanity: During watching a tragedy, catharsis is produced in you and at the same time you become selfless and think of humanity because the character in the play represents the average human beings of the world. For example, if you weep for

Antigone, the person who represents the agony of all human being, it means that you weep for the suffering of whole mankind. As for as the identification of yourself with that character is concerned it does not mean that you are that character, but it is sympathy with that character. And in this way you kill your inner ego and start thinking about the suffering and feelings of other people. 4. Platos fourth attack on poetry is not theoretical but is inductive (inductive means including things form a particular to general): For example, if a person in a particular department is not good it means that the whole department is not good. Plato applies this on Homer, the great poet. He says that in the poetry of Homer we find gods fighting on the side of Greeks and Torjans that is morally not wholesome rather it is bad. He asks question, is this is the kind of teaching which is going to make people good citizens? And if Homer does so what can be the condition of smaller poets? So he draws the conclusion that poetry is bad and must be excluded. (Note: once Aristophane was asked about the function of poets. He replied in his Dialogue that the function of poets is good. Poetry is beneficial and it teaches goodness and morality. But we do not see goodness in the poetry of Homer). Aristotles Reply: In reply, Aristotle says that the charge that Plato has leveled is not against poetry but against poets. In explanation he says that if Homer is giving wrong teaching, the fault is not that of poetry but of Homer. He again disagree with Plato that poet is not a teacher. The function of poetry is not to teach or moralize rather it is the function of religion. According to Aristotle poetry gives aesthetic pleasure and nothing else. General Philosophies of Aristotle 1. Man as a Social/Political Animal

The idea that man is a social animal may have originated with Aristotle. it is evident that a city is a natural production, and that man is naturally a political animal, and that whosoever is naturally and not accidentally unfit for society must be either inferior (monster) or superior (god) to man( politics,1). Man is a social animal. Man strives for cooperation and communication, for inclusion and togetherness because it is the demand of the nature of man. For that purpose, man lives in family and under different form of social and political systems. 2. Man as a Worshiping Animal According to Aristotle, man has created gods and religions because man is by nature a worshiping animal. He disagrees with the Bible that god created man in his own image. Aristotle says, no, man created god in his own image. Aristotles View on God 3. Man as an Imitative Animal The instinct of imitation is implanted in man from childhood, one different between man and other animals being that he is the most imitative of living creature, and pleasure is felt in things imitated. Therefore, man is an imitative animal. Imitation is congenial with man from his infancy and the delight it gives is universal. For example, the imitation (talking etc) of a child gives delight to his or her parents. 4. Philosophy of a living Organism (Man) Different stages of man: Infancy --------- childhood---------- manhood--------- old age----- death According to Aristotle, all the systems, states, civilizations and literatures that are created by man are like a living organism. They follow the same pattern of

growth as the body of a man follows. They have their own infancy, youth, maturity, old age and finally death and have the same stages of development as a living being has. For instance, the literature of Greek has now dead and its art, poetry, music and drama cannot be revived in the same form as once they had. 5. Definition of Definition Per genus per differentia (book of logic) Genus ------- broader class, differentia----- peculiar qualities of a thing It means that first put the things in a broader class, then find out the peculiar qualities of these things in comparison to other things. For example, in his book of logic, Aristotle puts man in the broader class of animals because man shares some qualities with animals, but there is something which is peculiar to manreasoning. So he defines man as a rational animal, differentiating him from animals because no animal has the quality of reasoning. Aristotles Theory of Art Elaboration of Art in General Platos view on art: Art is an imperfect imitation of an imperfect imitation, twice removed from reality, hence a world of shadows and falsehood. Art is, thus, in Platos contemptuous phrase, a copy of a copy. Aristotles Reply to Plato Aristotle uses the same word for art, mimesis and calls it imitation, but he gives it a new meaning. Art is an imitation of not what is or has been but what ought to be or might be.

Explanation Plato talks about idea and ideal. He considers the world is a copy of the ideal and the artists make copy of a copy. On the other hand, Aristotle is a realist. He says that the world is real and everything in it is a compound of matter and form. Form is the force within the matter which tries to mould the matter into an ideal thing, but in most cases it fails as the matter is obstructive. In result we cant see any ideal thing in the world, and we have all sort of imperfection. However, the aim of the artist is just like the aim of the force to make the thing ideal, but the artist works as an outsider. By imaginative faculty, the artist imagines and imitates what the force fails to achieve, the ideal. Example: doctor and patient, plastic surgery for beauty. This art is not an imitation of the external world, but it is the manifestation of the ideal or higher truth. Definition of Art 1. Art is the imitation of nature: By this Aristotle means that what as artist imitates is the method of nature. For example, when nature fails to produce a healthy body, the physician helps nature out. He gives some medicine to the body in order to strengthen the force. So the physician imitates the method of nature and completes the task that she has begun. 2. Art is the imitation of man in action: This definition applies to fine art. According to Aristotle, these men in action must be either of a higher or a lower type. The following aspects of men in action are imitated. Character Emotion

Action So according to Aristotle, permanent mental disposition, transient emotional mode and both inward and outward action are objects of artistic imitation. Useful Art and Fine Art Useful art includes: carpenter, sculpture, architecture etc. Fine art includes: painting, dancing, music and literature. Aristotle draws this important distinction and liberates fine arts from morality and religion and so on. He declares that fine art has its own end, its own function with truth of its own. Art is not symbolic: Symbol is a thing which stands for something else. Symbol has no resemblance to the thing it depicts such as the word door and the concept which it produces on our minds. While art has similarities with the thing it depicts. For instance, by reading solitary reaper it produces the images on our mind which resemble to that lady. Poetry is more Philosophical than History: History deals with the particular as the particular. It tells us the fact what has happened and finished. On the other hand, poetry deals with what ought to be or might be. Its object is the universal in the particular. At the time of Plato, an ideal poetry was emerging in philosophy, but Aristotle did not confine the two spheres: philosophy seeks to discover the universal in the particular; the aim of poetry is to represent the universal through the particular and the representation is particularized to sense. Poetry gives universal form to its own creation, it reveals a higher truth than history, and on that account is near to philosophy.

Imagination Aristotle says that men perceive things that are present with the help of sense perception, but they can also recall those things which are presently absent because the sense perception has left its image on them. This recalling faculty through which one can make the things present that are absent is called imagination. Unlike Coleridge Aristotle says that imagination is not a creative faculty. Conception It means going beyond the particular thing to the idea of the thing. It is a process of reason. We perceive a particular thing through sensation and then the imagination discovers something common and of particular qualities. Aristotle says that in the process of poetic creation, conception and imagination collaborate and the poet gives to idea a concrete or visible form.

The Function of Art Aristophanes View on Art Aristophane assigns moral function to poetry and art. As in his book Of Frog he states that poetry gives sound and moral counsels, makes persons good husband and wives and good citizen. He also condemns Euripides for mocking gods and moral views of the Greeks. Platos View on Art Plato banishes poets and artists from his ideal world. According to him they are copyist and appeal to the emotion of the people. He condemns Homers poetry for bringing gods to the level of the human beings. Horaces View The function of poetry is to instruct and delight

Instruction: he says that the instruction should be in a delighted manner. Aristotles View According to Aristotle each and every thing has its own function. To teach ethics and instruction; to make men good citizen and morally sound are the function of religion, politics and government. Art has its own end. Art is imitation and by imitating things men get pleasure. Shakespeare also says that God gets pleasure by doing things and an artist gets pleasure by imitating things. According to Aristotle, the function of fine art is to give aesthetic pleasure and one may also get instruction but just as a byproduct. Lower Pleasure It is a kind of entertainment and pleasure that is given by comedy. Higher Pleasure a pleasure given by the tragedy is higher pleasure.

The origin/birth of poetry According to Aristotle every things that men create or bring into existence is the demand of their nature. 1. Man by birth is a social animal, so he establishes laws and social norms 2. Man by birth is an imitative animal as babies imitate things and later learn. 3. Man by nature takes pleasure in the work of imitation. Even man finds pleasure in the imitation of ugly things.

Aristotles Theory of Tragedy Definition Tragedy is the imitation of an action that is serious and also having magnitude; complete in itself; in language with pleasurable accessories, each kind brought in separately in the various parts of the work; in a dramatic, not in a narrative form; with incidents arousing pity and fear, wherewith to accomplish its catharsis of such emotions. Explanation The genus of tragedy is imitation, and the deferentia consist of four elements: 1. The means The means employed are words expressing thought with such pleasure accessories as rhythm and harmony or song super-added. 2. The manner of imitation By manner Aristotle referrers to the displaying of strange scene and dialogue that is not in narrative form. 3. The object of imitation The object imitated is what is represented in the plot. It is a series of closely connected serious incident; having magnitude, neither too long nor too short for comprehension; complete in itself; involving peripety (change from one state of thing to its opposite), complication (movement from the change to end), discovery (sudden recognition) and suffering of a hero caused by error of judgment 4. The aim of imitation/ Tragedy The aim of tragedy is pleasure and relief through a catharsis of piety and fear. Piety is defined as an emotion occasioned by un-deserved misfortune, and fear as an emotion aroused by the misfortune of one like us.

Interpretations of Catharsis Moral interpretation In 17th and 18th centuries, a moral interpretation was given to the term catharsis. People believed that pride is the mother of all the evils and catharsis humbles this pride. For instance, we watch the tragedy of a rich person who enjoys luxury and is proud of his wealth. Then suddenly he commits a mistake and falls down form prosperity to misery. So we think that the same case can happen to us. Lessing, a Greek critic, gives a slight different moral interpretation. He says that if a person has too much piety and fear then he cant face the challenges of life, as he/she becomes a psycho case. While if a person has too little piety and pear then becomes a stone hearted person that is morally bad. According to him catharsis maintains the balance between the two extreme. Medical interpretation Analogy of vegetable According to F.L. Lucas and other critics, catharsis is a medical metaphor which means purgation. In explanation they give the anology of vegetable that poison men. Sometimes men eat vegetable that poison our healthy body but medicine helps out and restores our health. In the same way we experience many social problems such as killing, revenge, and unrequited love etc. that damage our personality. However, by watching a play we see such problems and catharsis is produced and like medicine it restores our personality. Analogy of vaccination Catharsis works as vaccination does and protect our health against certain diseases: by watching a play we become aware of social problems such as injustice, corruption etc. so it teaches us how to fight against such problems that we face in our life. Fraudians interpretation of the term catharsis:

Fraud use the word sublimation instead of catharsis He talked about conscious, subconscious and unconscious of human personality. He said that when we suppress our emotions and desires they go to unconscious part of our mind and later come in a damaging manner. Therefore, sublimation is necessary for a normal personality. Conclusion

Aristotles concept of tragedy and tragic hero First Aristotle talks about the characters of tragedy in general 1. Aristotle says that the characters who appear in tragedy must be good. 2. The character must be appropriate. For instance, we cant assign the characteristics of a coward person to a soldier; soldier must be brave. 3. The character must be consistent: if a character is brave in the beginning then he must be brave till the end. However, if a character is inconsistent then he should keep his inconsistency till the end. 4. The characteristic must be realistic and life like. The artist can idealize the character but should not distort it. Aristotles Concept of Tragic Hero the hero of a tragedy must neither be absolutely good nor bad: if a hero is absolutely good person and faces calamities and tragic end, it will not produce catharsis but will shock the spectaculars. On the other hand, if a hero is totally bad person then the emotional response of the audiences will not be of piety and fear, but they will say that justice was done. However, despite the fact we have exception. The heroes in Antigone and Murder and the Cathedral are absolutely good persons and their tragedies produce catharsis.

Aristotle says that a hero must be on the whole good, a person who has courage, strength and noble qualities, but he/she must not be flawless. He must be

greater than the average men. He must be a man of higher class such as prince, king, and great general etc. thus the tragedy and fall of such man is not only his fall but the fall the whole nation, e.g., Oedipus rex, Julius Caesar etc. Hamartia Aristotle says that the fall of a hero must not be of any deprivation or due to any fault in his character, but the fall must be due to himartia an error of judgment or weakness in the personality of a hero due to which he commits a minor mistake. Aspect/ Cases of Himartia 1. A tragic act planned consciously and executed consciously. This is not a good case because the hero knows the tragic consequences, but we have exception also. Media struggles against the cruelty of her husband and faces tragedy. It is a good tragedy because she is representative of all the women folk. 2. A tragic act planned consciously and but not executed. This case is not good because the audiences expect the preplanned executation. 3. A tragic act planned unconsciously and executed unconsciously, e.g., Oedipus rex. 4. A tragic act planned unconsciously but due to intime discovery not executed, e.g., Iphegenia. In the play there is relationship between the tragic person and the person who causes the tragedy but tragedy is avoided, and the truth is revealed by asking questing and giving arguments. Cases Responsible for Tragedy Stranger Tragedy caused by a stranger cant produce catharsis effectively. Enemy

Tragedy is bound to happen between enemies, so catharsis cant be produce effectively. Close Relatives and Friends This is the best case to produce effective catharsis if there is tragedy between friends, father and son or sister and brother, e.g., Oedipus rex.

Tragedy Tragedy is the imitation of an action that is serious and also having magnitude; complete in itself; in language with pleasurable accessories, each kind brought in separately in the various parts of the work; in a dramatic, not in a narrative form; with incidents arousing pity and fear, wherewith to accomplish its catharsis of such emotions. Elements of tragedy in the definition of tragedy, the first thing that Aristotle deals with is action (plot) which is complete. It means that action has a proper beginning, a transient middle, and a vonvincing end. By action Aristotle means man in action which implies character and thought. So these are the objects of imitation. Next we have means of imitation with pleasurable accessories that are dection and melody. Then we have the manner of imitation--- in dramatic, and not in narrative form. It means spectacle. So we have six elements of tragedy: Plot, character, thought, diction, melody and specticle. Aristotle prefers plot over character Aristotles Arguments in favor of Plot: 1. Tragedy is imitation not of persons but of action, human life, happiness and sorrows which takes the form of activity.

Aristotle says that character is included for the sake of action. It is action which make him either miserable or happy. 2. A play can be without character but cant be without plot. ( character means the moral aspect of man) 3. Discovery and reversal are the important parts of the plot not of character. 4. Ordinary writer can creat great character but cant produce great plot. Compact plot needs robast minds. For instance, in Juseph Andrew, Fielding creats hundred of superflous character, but its plot is not compact. However, he succeeded in his maturity and gave a perfect plot construction in Tom Jones. 5. Plot is the soul of tragedy. Aristotle says that play is a living organism and plot is like the soul wihich keeps the organism alive. It is plot that relates the part together and give significance to them. Plot construction By plot aristotle means human actions or experience. plot is a complete whole and has a certain magnitude. A complete whole means that it has a proper beginning, a transient middle and a convincing end. Beginning is that which has nothing before but something after, and middle is that which has something before and also something after. By the ends he means that it has something before and nothing afterwards. By magnitude he means that plot must have a proper length. It must neither be too long nor too short. Unity Plot should have organic unity. It must have one theme and everything must be subordinate to the theme. There must be nothing superflous, which means that

every events and character must be necessary, necessary to such a degree that if a small event or character

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