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Aristotle On art and poetry. Aristotle From Makedonia (384-322) Studied in Plato’s Academy Founded his own school, Lykeion Wrote: –Socratic dialogues.

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Presentation on theme: "Aristotle On art and poetry. Aristotle From Makedonia (384-322) Studied in Plato’s Academy Founded his own school, Lykeion Wrote: –Socratic dialogues."— Presentation transcript:

1 Aristotle On art and poetry

2 Aristotle From Makedonia (384-322) Studied in Plato’s Academy Founded his own school, Lykeion Wrote: –Socratic dialogues (lost) –Lectures (preserved)

3 Thought and Experience Rejects Plato’s Theory of Ideas Knowledge based on experience of particular, concrete things Concepts created from them

4 Essentialism The essence or nature of things exists in the things themselves (not outside them as in Plato’s Theory of Ideas) Subsist in things as form Understood by the mind as concept

5 Creative power of thought The mind creates a universal concept From the experience of particular things

6 Poetry and knowledge The literary work makes knowledge of human life possible Raises the particular up to the level of the universal The story makes life understandable

7 Division of the Sciences Theoretical sciences (knowledge for its own sake) –Physics, mathematics, metaphysics Practical sciences (aims at action) –Ethics, politics, economics Productive science (aims at production) –Crafts, art and poetry

8 Discusses art Nichomacchian Ethics –Art as knowledge Poetics –Reply to Plato’s attack on poetry

9 Poetics Poetry is an art that is subject to certain laws These laws are general and understandable The art of poetry can be analysed and understood

10 General division of the Poetics 1.Nature and kinds of poetry (Parts/chapters 1-3) 2.Origin and development of poetry (4-5) 3.Tragedies (6-22) 4.Epic poetry (23-24) 5.Criticism and replies (25) 6.Tragedies in comparison with epic poetry (26)

11 Nature and kinds Poetry is imitation Kinds of poetry –Media –Objects –Modes

12 Media Colors and shapes (images) Voice Language Rythm Melody

13 Objects People in active life –Better –Worse –Like us

14 Modes Narrative Acting

15 Origin and development Origin –Nature: Imitation is natural to man –Pleasure: Everybody loves imitation Development –Epic poetry –Tragedies –Comedies

16 Origins of poetry Imitation is natural to man –Most tendency to imitation –Learn by imitationg Everybody takes pleasure from imitation –Learn something (pleasure from knowledge) –Style, color etc. (if no model)

17 The six elements Plot-structure (myþos) - Objects Character (eþos) - Objects Style (lexis) - Media Thought (dianoia) - Objects Spectacle (opsis) - Modes Songs (melopoieia) - Media

18 Definition Tragedy is a representation (mimesis) of an action which is serious, complete and of a certain magnitude In the mode of dramatic enactment, not narrative Through the arousal of pity and fear effecting the katharsis of such emotions

19 What is being represented? Not people or character, but a course of action The plot-structure (the story) is the main concern, only secondly the characters The characters are in the service of the course of action (the plot-structure)

20 Structure and scale Representation of a chain of action of a certain size Whole: beginning, middle, end A beautiful object must possess –Ordered arrangement –Appropriate scale Beauty is grounded in size and order Criterion: Perception of the whold

21 Principles of structure Unity of action – the action must form –Unity –Whole If the presence or absence of some part does not matter it is not a part of the whole

22 Reversal and recognition Reversal: swing in the direction of the action Recognition: change from ignorance to knowledge Best when both go together

23 Poetry and philosophy Poetry deals with what could occur Possible by the standards of probability and necessity Poetry is more philosophical than history –Expresses the universal rather than the particular –What a certain kind of character is likely to say or do

24 Poetry and metre The story (plot-structure) is more important than the metre Poetry consists in imitation (mimesis) The imitation is of action The actions are probable or possible

25 Reply to critics In the art of poetry one can fail in two ways: –Failure in an extrinsic matter –Failure in the art itself Plato fails to make this distinction

26 Summary The art of poetry is subject to general laws It can be analysed and understood Poetry consists in the representation of action Its effect is the cleaning (katharsis) of emotion

27 Mimesis and expression Mimesis distinguishes poetry from other things Poetry has emotional effect But poetry is not the expression of emotion

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