Criticism Theory

Download A history of literary criticism and theory : from Plato to by M. A. R. Habib PDF

By M. A. R. Habib

This accomplished advisor to the background of literary feedback from antiquity to the current day presents an authoritative evaluation of the foremost activities, figures, and texts of literary feedback, in addition to surveying their cultural, historic, and philosophical contexts.

  • Supplies the cultural, old and philosophical heritage to the literary feedback of every era
  • Enables scholars to work out the advance of literary feedback in context
  • Organised chronologically, from classical literary feedback via to deconstruction
  • Considers a variety of thinkers and occasions from the French Revolution to Freud’s perspectives on civilization
  • Can be used along any anthology of literary feedback or as a coherent stand-alone introduction

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Extra info for A history of literary criticism and theory : from Plato to the present

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In these crucial ways, the significance of poetry defines the very purpose and method of the Republic. The Politics of Plato’s Aesthetics Poetry’s deeper structural function in this text is not confined to the first two books. In books III and X that function extends to the program of education Plato advocates for the guardians or rulers of his ideal city. The initial elements prescribed for this training comprise the conventional Athenian combination of gymnastics and music. The Greek 26 HOLC01b 26 06/27/2005, 10:50 AM plato (428 –ca.

Plato regards both music and gymnastics as directed to the improvement of the soul: gymnastics alone would foster a brutal and harsh disposition, while an exclusively musical training would render the soul too soft. Hence the guardians’ nature must achieve a harmony between both dispositions, high-spiritedness on the one hand, and gentleness, together with a love of knowledge, on the other. Plato’s terminology here is revealing: such a guardian would be “the most perfect and harmonious musician” (III, 410c–412a).

Once again, it is an index of how deeply poetry structures the entire discussion that this final book is devoted not 31 HOLC01b 31 06/27/2005, 10:50 AM part i: ancient greek criticism to justice or polity but to poetry. Socrates, perhaps shaky in his conviction of his own earlier arguments, returns to give second thoughts to the subject – with the biased intention of convincing himself more deeply. Using the dialogue between Socrates and Glaucon, Plato now presents the poet as a “most marvelous Sophist” and a “truly clever and wondrous man” who “makes all the things that all handicraftsmen severally produce” (X, 596c–d).

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