� Plato was born to an aristocratic family in Athens and lived from 428-354 BC, a bright period of civilization in world history.
� Always interested in politics, Plato became a student of Socrates, an enigmatic, ugly man of no particular wealth or prominence who wandered about the open places of Athens, engaging his fellow citizens in debate.
� Socrates was Plato�s greatest philosophical influence inspiring him by exhibiting levels of scrutiny to the assumptions and prejudices of his age. Plato was enraptured by Socrates� ability to reduce the most pompous and self-confident aristocrats to a state of bewilderment.
� Inspired by Socrates� example, Plato turned to philosophy. In honor of his teacher, he wrote dialogues, recording the kinds of conversations Socrates had in public with his fellow Athenians.
� Philosophers, no longer satisfied by traditional explanations offered by myths, began searching for rational explanations of the world and our place in it.
� Religious rituals and myths about gods and titans seemed less convincing in this new worldview, and so a whole set of traditional values fell into doubt.
� This search gave birth to the Western study of mathematics, science, psychology, and ethics, among other subjects.
� In 399, Plato witnessed the trial and execution of Socrates at the hands of the restored Athenian democracy, under charges of corrupting the youth, introducing new gods to the city, atheism, and unusual religious practices.
� When Socrates was purged, Plato became disillusioned with politics and came to see that �mankind�s fate was hopeless unless there was a deep change in men�s education and especially in the education of those intending to become statesmen�.
� Plato was concerned about social and individual justice: to get out of life what is deserved, not less, not more.
� Plato founded the Academy (prototype of the Western modern university system), discussed philosophy and mathematics with other thinkers. The Academy lasted 900 years.
� Academy�s first major student for 20 years was Aristotle who later rejected Plato�s basic view of reality.
-the essence or deep structure of an object or idea.
-relative to scientist and mathematician, uses abstraction and symbolization.
- The �Divided Line� a loose continuum between levels.
- More certainty than opinion but still not absolute because features.
- Relative to the context of the person or situation.
- For example, objects have different weights on different planets.
- Less certain than the absolute idea.
- Imagining an object, conjecture, guessing, illusions, etc.
- Objects seen with the eyes: a poor imitation of its ideal form.
- We wrongly accept the appearance of a thing as the thing itself.
- Usually, we only interact with people�s shadows= their opinion.
- based on an individual knowledge.
Plato�s Theory of Forms:
* theory of forms represents Plato�s attempt to cultivate our capacity for abstract thought.
* Like art and mythology, philosophy provides concepts that help us to understand ourselves.
* Art and mythology do so by appealing to our emotions and desires. Philosophy appeals to the intellect.
* Theory of forms maintains that there are two distinct levels of reality:
1-The visible world of sights and sounds (visible, mortal, changing. Identifying a beautiful person) = we need to use sense.
2- The intelligible world of forms that stands above the visible (abstract, the conception of beauty, unchanging, eternal) = we need to use reasons.
* Commentators disagreed on what Plato intended forms to be:
- Paradigms, perfect examples on which the imperfect world is modeled.
- Universal, the forms of beauty is that quality that all beautiful things share.
- The conglomeration of all instances of a quality in the visible world.( a little beauty in one person, a little beauty in another= all beauty in the world put together is the form of beauty).
* In the natural world, there are hierarchies of forms.
* Each forms fits within a hierarchy of other forms and we need to appreciate each one in its larger contexts.
* Understanding one form makes it easier to grasp others and , eventually, the whole hierarchy comes into view.
Examples hierarchy of ideal forms:
- The cosmos as a whole. (highest)
- Cities and societies.
- Objects. (lowest)
* The highest form is the Good.
* Plato believes that the Good has power and energy just as the sun has the power to warm our skin.
* Good is the source of beauty, right, reason and truth.
* Good sheds light on other lesser forms we see and enables us to make sense of them.
* The ideal is arrived at through ideas and the Good guides us in this quest.
� Plato�s Republic book is a famous book in which he describes what he thinks should be the best government of state.
� The people in the city are called the guardians of the state
� The book is written in a form of dialogue between an imaginary Socrates (not his teacher) and somebody called Glaucon.
� It reveals Plato�s understanding of the purpose and nature o philosophy, a process of constant questioning and logical argument that takes the form of dialogue.
� Plato believes philosophy is man�s most noble, as well as most useful, occupation; in fact, it is his obligation. He appreciates though distrusts poetry.
� Republic�s major premise is to investigate the nature of justice.
� Broadly divided into three parts:
1) Refutation of proverbial morality and traditional society.
2) Investigation of the figure of the philosopher, metaphysics, visibility, and the sun as a symbol of the good or justice.
3) �Myth of the Cave� in book VII, that the two realms:
Material and ideal, polity and philosophy, historical state and ideal state, virtue and ethics.
Plato�s allegory of the Cave:
� Plato�s cave is described in a dialogue presented in chapter VII of his book, the republic.
� The cave is the best known of Plato�s dialogues and is open to many different and interpretations.
� The cave is an allegory given to simplify Plato�s complex explanation of the levels of reality and their corresponding degrees of knowledge.
� Basic division: visible + invisible, then subdivided into a series of higher and lower levels based on how we grasp things, and what these things are.
� The cave has a blunt and clear political message: our leaders are often not fit to govern us and need to either �see the light� or to be replaced.
� Basic premise: because of how we live� true� reality is not obvious to most of us. However, we mistake what we see and hear for reality and truth.
The major elements of Plato�s cave:
� The cave represents the visible world we live in.
� Questioning the nature of reality.
� People untutored in the Theory of Forms are like prisoners chained in a cave, unable to turn their heads to observe light.
� All they can see is the wall of the cave.
� The brilliant sun outside the cave represents the Good, a source of true knowledge.
� The fire behind them makes them see shadow on the cave wall.
� These prisoners mistake appearance for reality, thinking that what they see on the wall is reality.
� Individual human beings are prisoners perceiving reality through their own imperfect eyes.
� Most individuals accept this distorted illusion of reality without question.
� Some manage to escape this ignorance and illusion.
* Taking a bed as his example, Socrates discusses how in the world there are three levels of reality:
1- The ideal level of God, who creates the bed as an idea.
2- The real, carpenter who imitates God�s idea in making a particular bed.
3- The imitative, the poet or painter, whose bed imitates the imitator�s.
* He shows that there are three levels at which phenomena occur. First and the original is the level of God, who creates the bed as an idea; second is the carpenter who imitates the God�s idea in making a particular bed; and last is the poet or painter, whose bed imitates the imitator�s.
Characters in book X:
Socrates: the narrator and protagonist of The Republic, the central consciousness through whom everything flows and is filtered.
Glaucon: the name of one of Plato�s older brother and in The Republic remains Socrates� closest and most loyal disciple. Glaucon opposes Socrates. He is fairly good at presenting conventional positions and so, the embodiment of conventional thought.
Adeimantus: the second of Plato�s brothers, a source of poetry and literature in the course of the dialogue. He is also avowed disciple of Socrates and like the others declines when given opportunities to lead the discussion.
Plato�s Argument against Poetry:
� Plato attempts to provide a general description of the object of imitation, the appearance of a thing as opposed to its true nature.
� Poetry presents its characters by means of mimesis, imitation or representation of objects that belong to the lower order of being than ideal forms, the real.
� Plato draws an analogy between painting and poetry, which both imitate their subjects, craftworks use forms as models. The carpenter who builds a bed or couch looks at the form, but the painter, ignorant of the bed�s nature, looks at the bed and copies its appearance.
Poetry imitates appearance:
The images contained in poetry are far removed from what is most real, it turning away from the most real toward the least.
Poetry appeals to the worst part of the soul (emotion and affections):
- The images the poets portray do not imitate the good part of the soul. The rational part of the soul is quiet, stable, and not easy to imitate or understand.
- Poets imitate the worst parts = the inclinations that makes characters easily excitable and colorful.
- Poetry arouses, nourishes, and strengthens these base elements while diverting energy from the rational part.
Poetry corrupts even the best souls:
- It deceives us into sympathizing with those who grieve excessively, who lust inappropriately, and who laugh at base things.
- It goads us into feeling these base emotions vicariously.
- But the enjoyment we feel in indulging these emotions in other lives is transferred to our own life.
- Once these parts of ourselves have been nourished and strengthened in this way, they flourish in us when we are dealing with our own lives.
- Suddenly we become the grotesque types of people we saw on stage or heard about in epic poetry.
� Hence, poets are liars and should be banned from the Republic, the good city.
� Homer�s is an example of poet�s ignorance. His skill lies in his ability to create portraits of characters in action, not in any comprehension of their true nature or morality. He is thus able to only imitate appearance alone.
� Poetry as now exists imitates real people, but in the ideal city it imitates only the best of them.
� Unlike poetic knowledge which imitates an imitation and thus is thrice removed from reality, philosophical knowledge, therefore, according to Plato might be more worthwhile because it not only imitates the forms, but aims at and consorts with them.
� Poetry imitative practices allies with the lower parts of the soul. Audience will act and react to those emotions and will naturally fall for these flaws.
� Plato recognized that products of artistic imitation lure the reader or spectator into preferring them over objects that might lead to acknowledge.
� Poetic charm is a force capable of good only if it depicts philosophical truth.
Aristotle was born in 384 BCE in Stagirus, a Greek colony and seaport on the coast of Thrace. His father was court physician to King of Macedonia and from this began Aristotle�s long association with the Macedonian Court, which considerably influenced his life. At age 17 he was sent to Athens, the intellectual center of the world, to join the Academy and studied under Plato, attending his lectures for a period of twenty years. In the later years of his association with Plato and the Academy he began to lecture on his own account, especially on the subject of rhetoric. All through his life, Aristotle devoted his energies to his teaching and composing his philosophical treatises. He gave two kinds of lectures: the more detailed discussions in the morning for an inner circle of advanced students, and the popular discourses in the evening for the general body of lovers of knowledge.
Aristotle�s theory of imitation: Mimetic behavior was viewed as the representation of � something animate and concrete with characteristics that are similar to the characteristics to other phenomena� Plato believed that mimesis was manifested in � particulars� which resemble or imitate the forms from which they are derived; thus , the mimetic world ( the world of representation and the phenomenological world) is inherently inferior in that it consists of imitations which will always be subordinate or subsidiary to their original Plato views art as a mimetic imitation of an imitation ( art mimes the phenomenological world which mimes an original� real world�). Mimesis is positioned within the sphere of aesthetics, and the illusion produced by mimetic representation in art, literature, and music is viewed as: alienating + inauthentic + deceptive + and inferior. The relationship between art and imitation: Mimesis is conceived as something that is natural to man, and the arts and media are natural expressions of human faculties. Aristotle views mimesis and mediation as fundamental expression of our human experience within the world- as means of learning about nature that through the perceptual experience allows us to get closer to the real. Works of art are encoded in such a way that humans are not duped into believing that they are �reality�, but rather recognize features from their own experience of the world within the work of art that cause the representation to seem valid and acceptable. Mimesis not only functions to re-create existing objects or elements of nature, but also beautifies, improves upon, and universalizes them. Mimesis creates a fictional world of representation in which there is no capacity for a non-mediated relationship to reality. Aristotle views mimesis as something that nature and humans have in common. That is not only embedded in the creative process, but also in the constitution of the human species. Aristotle by his theory of imitation answers the charge of Plato that poetry is an imitation of �shadow of shadow�, thrice removed from truth, and that the poet beguiles us with lies. Plato condemned poetry that in the very nature of things poets have no idea of truth. The phenomenal world is not the reality but a copy of the reality in the mind of the supreme. The poet imitates the objects and phenomena of the world, which are shadowy and unreal. Poetry is �the mother of lies�. Aristotle tells us that art imitates not the mere shows of things, but the �ideal reality� embodied in very object of the world. Art reproduces the original not as it is, but as it appears to the senses. Art moves in a world of images, and reproduces the external, according to the idea or image in his mind. Thus the poet does not copy the external world, but creates according to his idea of it. Thus even an ugly object well-imitated becomes a source of pleasure. The real and ideal from Aristotle�s point of view are not opposites; the ideal is the real. Aristotle equated poetry with music. It becomes a representation of the passions and emotions of men which are also imitated by music. The medium of the poet and the painter are different. One imitates through form and color, and the other through language, rhythm and harmony. The musician imitates through rhythm and harmony. Thus, poetry is more akin to music. Epic poetry, tragedy, and comedy are differing from one another in three respects: their medium + objects + and the manner or mode of imitation. The manner of a poet may be purely narrative, as in the Epic, or depiction through action, as in drama. Even dramatic poetry is differentiated into tragedy and comedy accordingly as it imitates man as better or worse. Aristotle says that the objects of poetic imitation are �men in action�. The poet represents men as worse than they are. He can represent men better than in real life based on material supplied by history and legend rather than by any living figure. The poet selects and orders his material and recreates reality. He brings order out of Chaos. The irrational or accidental is removed and attention is focused on the lasting and the significant. Thus he gives a truth of an ideal kind. His mind is not tied to reality. Aristotle by his theory enlarged the scope of imitation. The poet imitates not the surface of things but the reality embedded within.
Aristotle�s distinction between poetry and history: History tells us what actually happened; poetry what may happen History expresses the particular; poetry the universal. Poetry constantly rises from the particular to the general. Poetry is not mere imitation because it feeds on passion, but beneficial, cathartic. Poetry does not imitate the outer world of created things but �the creative force, the productive principle of the universe�. The poet imitates the creative process of nature, but the objects are �men in action�. Now the action may be external or internal Poetry reproduces mainly an inward process, a physical energy working outwards, incidents, situation, rendering men �as they ought to be�.. Moral qualities, characteristics, the permanent temper of the mind, the temporary emotions and feelings, are all action and so objects of poetic imitation.. Poetry may imitate men as better or worse than they are in real life or imitate as they really are. Tragedy and epic represent men on a heroic scale, better than they are, and comedy represents men of a lower type, worse than they are. The poet freed from the tyranny of facts, takes a larger or general view of things, represents the universal in the particular and so shares the philosopher�s quest for ultimate truth. Poetry is thus equated with philosophy in that both are means to a higher truth. In this way, he exhibits the superiority of poetry over history. The poet constantly rises from the particular to the general. Moral view of Aristotle�s Poetics: Aristotle was the first to distinguish aesthetic from morals. The end of poetry is a refined pleasure that never allows the moral purpose of the poet or moral effects of his art to replace the aesthetic end. Aristotle allows for the presence of the evil characters in tragedy. The law of probability: Art�s only requirement in Aristotle�s view is to represent the universal, to adhere to the law of probability. The result is poetic truth that is more philosophical.
Definition of Tragedy: Tragedy is an imitation of an action that is serious, complete, and of a certain magnitude; in language embellished with each kind of artistic ornament , the several kinds being found in separate parts of the play; in the form of action, not of narrative; with incidents arousing pity and fear, wherewith to accomplish its Catharsis of such emotions. Every tragedy, therefore, must have six parts which determine its quality: plot, characters, Diction, Spectacle, and Melody. Catharsis: The end of the tragedy is a Catharsis (purgation, cleansing) of the tragic emotions of pity and fear. The word means �purging� and Aristotle seems to be employing a medical metaphor, tragedy arouses the emotions of pity and fear in order to purge away their excess, to reduce these passions to a healthy, balanced proportion. Catharsis is part of the definition of tragedy.
Elements of tragedy: 1) Plot:the arrangement of the incidents; not the story itself but the way the incidents are presented to the audience, the structure of the play. The plot must be �a whole� with a beginning, middle, and end. The beginning( incentive moment), must start the cause and effect chain but not be dependent on anything outside the compass of the play. The middle, or climax, must be caused by earlier incidents and itself cause the incidents that follow it. The end, or resolution, must be caused by the preceding events but not lead to other incidents outside the compass of the play, the end should solve or resolve the problem created during the incentive moment. Aristotle calls the cause and effect chain leading from the incentive moment to the climax the �tying up�, in modern terminology the �complication�. And called the cause and effect chain from the climax to the resolution the� unraveling�, in modern terminology the �denouement�. The plot must be complete, having unity of action; that means plot most be structurally self contained. The worst kinds of plot are �episodic�, in which the episodes or acts succeed one another without probable or necessary sequence. The only thing that ties together the events in such a plot is the fact that they happen to the same person. It should be �of a certain magnitude�, both quantitatively (length, complexity) and qualitatively (seriousness and universal significance). Aristotle argues that plots should not be too brief: the more incidents and themes that the playwright can bring together in an organic unity, the greater the artistic value and richness of the play. Also, the more universal and significant the meaning of the play, the more the playwright can catch and hold the emotions of the audience, the better the play will be. The plot may be either simple or complex. Simple plots imply a �change of fortune� (catastrophe). Complex one implies a �reversal of intention� (peripeteia) and �recognition� (anagnorisis) connected with catastrophe. Both peripeteia and anagnorisis result in surprise. The best plot combines these two as part of their cause and effect chain. 2) Characters:the second place in importance. In perfect tragedy, character will support plot. Characters in tragedy should have the following qualities: Good or fine > it is relative to class. Fitness of character > true to type. True to life > realistic. Consistent > true to themselves. Necessary or probable > Characters must be logically constructed according to the law of probability or necessity. True to life and yet more beautiful > idealized, ennobled.
Hamartia = it translated as �tragic flaw�. The meaning of the Greek word is closer to �mistake� than to �flaw�. The role of Hamartia in tragedy comes not from its moral status but from the inevitability of its consequences.
3)Themes:are found where something is proved to be or not to be or general maxim is enunciated. 4)Diction:is the expression of the meaning in words which are proper and appropriate to the plot, characters, and end of the tragedy. 5) Song or melody:the musical element of the chorus. Aristotle argues that the Chorus should be fully integrated into the play like an actor; choral odes should not be �mere interludes� but should contribute to the unity of the plot. 6) Spectacle: the production of spectacular effects depends more on the art of the stage machinist than on that of the poet. Although Aristotle recognizes the emotional attraction of spectacle, he argues that superior poets rely on the inner structure of the play rather than spectacle to arouse pity and fear; those who rely heavily on spectacle create a sense, not of the terrible, but only of the monstrous.
Longinus�s approach to literature is contradistinguished from Plato�s declaration of poetic inspiration as dangerous divine madness or the poet as liar. In order to understand the sublime, we must have some notion of what exists beyond the human, empirical experience. Yet like Plato, Longinus feels that the human was the art or technical aspects, while the sublime was the soul or that which eluded our experience of art.
Our sense of the sublime is an illusion, which draws the reader to new heights, to the realization that there is something more to human life than the mundane, the ordinary. In fact, the sublime entails a kind of mystery.
Sublimity is the source of the distinction of the greatest poets and prose writers, something like a thunderbolt that could strike anywhere.
Plato, according to Longinus is model and an ideal of great literature.
Longinus centers on figurative language, discussing the great writers of the past and their importance, our �possession by a spirit not one�s effluences flow from it into the minds of their imitators�. He holds Plato up as a model and ideal of great literature, thereby answering and defending Plato�s style against his critics.
Longinus believes in the privileging of mental processes. He holds in an almost mystical way that the composer is identified with what he describes; and because of the excitement of the moment of inspiration, the hearer or reader is also a participant in the feeling of sublimity. And so it was that Longinus first brought passion and the concept of readably complementation to the study of literature.
The Definition of the sublime: The sublime consists of in a great loftiness and excellence of language, and that it is by this and only this, that the greatest poets and prose writers have gained eminence, and won themselves a lasting place in the temple of fame. The sublime is that which defeats every effort of sense and imagination to pictures. It is that whose presence reduces all else to nothingness. It can be defined and described only in symbolic terms, which ironically defies the pictorial arts to sketch it. It remains only for the art of the metaphorical language of poetry to give the suggestion of sublime.
Is sublimity and loftiness a natural gift or can be taught? 1- The sublime is born in a man, and not to be acquired by instruction (genius). 2- The sublime is a skill that can be acquired. -The sublime enables the artist to convey his further vision. -Transport---- the effect of sublime upon reader which lifts him out of himself to a higher understanding. -Nature is not without method and system--- sublime thus is not a mystical apprehension but is related to conscious art. Good fortune is utterly ruined by the absence of good counsel. Genius (fortune) + Art (counsel) = Sublimity.
The five principle sources of the sublime: 1- Grandeur of thought (the power to conceive great thought). To furnish the mind of the intelligent man with great thought and more food for reflection. 2- Vigorous and spirited treatment of the passion.( these two sources depend on natural endowment). 3- A certain artifice in the employment of figures, two kinds: a- figures of thought. b- Figures of speech 4- Dignified expression, which is subdivided into a- proper choice of words. b-the use of metaphors and other ornaments of diction. 5- Majesty and elevation of structure.
Sidney is a Renaissance poet who believed that poetry is the greatest form of art, for it encompasses all sorts of knowledge, philosophy, and history psychology. Like Greeks Sidney believed that the poet should follow nature and that he is a maker. expands the implications of the ancient definition of literature first formulated by the Latin poet Ovid who believed that its mission is to teach by delight and entertaining. The poem is the speaking picture with this end, to teach and delight. Giving pleasure is giving a central position in the reading of literature, unlike philosophy which is characterized as worthy and uplifting but not pleasure giving. Giving pleasure is according to Sidney a revolutionary sentiment that distinguishes poetry from other forms of writing. Sidney�s argument for poetry is based on his distinction between three types of poets according to the nature and end of their poetry: 1.Poets who imitate the inconceivable excellencies of God.( divinely inspired). 2.Poets who imitate philosophers and are concerned with philosophical matters. 3.The right poets. A type of poet which Plato could not recognize. A �poet who brings his own stuff and makes matter for a conceit�they proceed from their own wit and are therefore makers�.
The two first types were detested by Plato... But Sidney introduces this third type. According to Plato: the poet shapes the world out of pre-existing matter according to ideas independent of him. So poet struggles with matter and lacking its ideas must yield himself to it either in admiration or succumb to material to render it sweetly. According to Sidney: A creative poet is one who borrows nothing of what has been or shall be as in the first two types of poets. �But makes matter and with the force of divine breath brings things forth�.
*Poet = Maker unlike Plato who denies any perception of ideas, Sidney places them within the poet. * Poet is a monarch: only the poet disdaining to be tied to any subjection, lifted up with the vigor of his own invention, doth grow in effect into another nature. In making things either better than nature, brings forth forms such as never were in nature: as the heroes, demigods, chimeras, furies... Thus it teaches and delights. * The poet is quintessentially the creator of a fictive world, a world absolutely innocent of any reference to a pre- existing external order. * Poet�s freedom from external reference distinguishes him from the astronomer, geometrician, arithmetician, natural philosopher, musician, all who must build upon the depth of nature. * Poetry is an art of imitation, for so Aristotle terms the word mimesis that is to say, a representing, counterfeiting, or figuring forth to speak metaphorically. A speaking picture, with the end to teach and delight. * Sidney makes poetry the image of the possible, a revelation or a vision of the golden world. * Comedy is an imitation of the common errors of our life, which he represents in the most, ridiculous and scornful sort that may be: so as it is impossible that any beholder can be content to be such a one.
The Apology seems to be of two voices: 1- Abandoning the poet to is own liberty of conceit. 2-Restraining him according to a certain a priori prescriptions.
Contrast between History , poetry and Philosophy: Historyis too specific to teach virtue; it deals with specific concrete facts and events that are too narrow to apply everywhere. Philosophy is too abstract ideas, therefore, people cannot identify personally with it Poetry exceeds them both and makes use of the abstract and the particular. He does not see things as they really are, for is free from bondage to nature, not being captive to the truth of a foolish world.
Many people attack poetry. Sidney answer these accusers of poets and poetry. He says that there are primarily 4 accusations:
1)There are more important fields of knowledge that are more fruitful (useful). Sidney answered in defense of this accusation; the knowledge that teaches virtue is the most fruitful one. It is better because it bushes you to virtue. 2)Poetry is the mother of lies. Sidney answered: The poet is not a liar is true. He is not pretending that what he says is true. He is not pretending to be telling the truth. Everybody knows poets deal with fiction, not with facts. They even invoke the muses to inspire their writing. Unlike doctors or scientists who claim to be telling the truth. 3)Poetry is the nurse of Abuse. This means that poetry can be convincing even when it is wrong. It can play tricks with people�s brains. It is dangerous for this reason. Sidney answered:if poetry can cause abuse, it is because men�s brains are misusing the poetry. In other words, you can red into poetry whatever you want. It is your mind that reads. The poet does not force his ideas into your head. He does not impose his interpretation. 4)Plato banished poets out of his Republic. If Plato did that it must be a good reason. Sidney answered: Plato himself couldn�t get all poets and of his Republic. He only kicked out some poets not all. He allowed praises of good men and writers of hymns of God to stay in. therefore, his argument is nit valid. Rhyme and verse in poetry are accidental rather than essential to poetry. (Verse being an ornament and no cause to poetry� it is not rhyming and versing that make poetry).
�Coleridge�s Biographia Literaria is a significant work from the romantic era. As one of Coleridge�s main critical studies, it addresses the idea contained in Wordsworth�s preface showing a close consideration of Wordsworth�s notion that the language of poetry must strive to become more like the language of prose. �Coleridge�s Biographia Literaria discuses the different poetic Diction between Wordsworth and Coleridge. First we will begin with Wordsworth�s assumptions of poetic diction. There are three main dictions according to Wordsworth:
Poetic diction is the language of people, peasant and shepherds. That is Wordsworth emphasizes on the ordinary language that common people understand (both educated and the uneducated).
Simple language of the farmers is the perfect one for poetry. Wordsworth believes in the simple form of poetry because the ordinary language is the language of all.
According to Wordsworth language is the language of common sense. It is widely known and easily conveyed to the mind.
The language of these men are adopted because they hourly communicate with the best objects from which the best part of language is originally derived.
Coleridge disagrees with Wordsworth assumption of poetic Diction. Coleridge believes that real language is not applicable to all situations.
Coleridge replies to the three assumptions of Wordsworth, he believes that:
If poetry is an animation of rustic person, than their language will be rude and unpolished. Their object of communication is isolated facts. For example, the weather and how to feed the animals.
An educated person who is independent can make the best of rustic language, he uses his education skills to explain things and make the best of it.
When you are educated and independent. You are able to go back to nature and make connections. On the other hand if you are uneducated, you cannot accomplish any thing.
Each language of each person has its own individuality it reflects its class and has words of universal use Lingua Communis. Universal language is the language that can be understood by all.
Not all Wordsworth characters are rustic. Characters in poems like Michael, The Brothers, are not low and rustic.
Their language and sentiments do not necessarily arise from their abode or occupation. They are attributed to causes of their similar sentiments and language, even if they have different abode or occupation. These causes are two: a- independence of thoughts. b- a solid, religious background which make a man well- versed in the Bible and other holy books excluding other books.
According to Coleridge there is no real language, only ordinary language and thus the language of the farmer is not the best. Only poetic language is the best. And if we follow one language then we are only following the system.
Coleridge divided the �mind� into two distinct faculties: 1- Imagination 2- Fancy �IMAGINATION: -Blends, fuses, and harmonizes opposites. -�Vital� and �transformative�. - responsible for acts that were truly creative and inventive and identified true instances of fine or noble art. primary imagination.. a.The primary agent of human perception. b.Everyone has it. c.It is responsible for seeing and perceiving the world. d.It is to recognize and realize the world. e.Mind�s energy and shaping creatively in the act of perception. f.It is a repetition of God�s creation.
Secondary imagination.. a.Identical with the primary in the kind of its agency, and differing only in degree, and in the mode of operation. b.This is where the blending and fusing takes place. c.This is the power to blend ideas to recreate. d.Coexists with the conscious will. e.It dissolves, diffuses, dissipates, in order to recreate. f. It is able to modify or even augment that creation. FANCY: -employed to denote tasks that are �passive� and �mechanical� -the accumulation of fact and documentation of what is seen -Related to fixities and divinities as it receives all its materials ready made from the law of association. -Depends a lot on the willing suspension of disbelief. -The poet uses his will to suppress logical objection to strange images.
# Pure poetry depends on both fancy and Imagination. �Coleridge attempts to define the nature of poetry and poem. He begins by stating that the end of poetry is to communicate pleasure. Coleridge then argues that the essence of poetry does not lie in its conventionality or formal structure, but rather in its ability to �outer� that which is inner- meaning. �Coleridge indexes meaning to the imaging process, rather than to �images�. He does not treat images, as reified entities exist. �Coleridge�s definition of a �poem�:is that species of composition, which is opposed to works of science, by proposing for its immediate object pleasure, not truth; and from all other species it is discriminated by proposing to itself such delight from the whole, as it is compatible with a distinct gratification from each component part. Coleridge provides four distinctive qualities of poetic power: 1.Perfect sweetness of versification; adaptation to the subject; variation of words with avoidance of uncalled for loftiness to preserve the sense of melody. 2.choice of subject very remote from the private interests and circumstances of the poet himself instigated by a series �flow� of �colorful� imagery, always vivid and because unbroken, often minute, which are capable to provide a substitute for the visual language. These images are powerful in the highest degree when they mould into the character, circumstances and passion present in the mind. 3.A predominant passion, or by associated thoughts or images awakened by the passion. These images have the effect of reducing multitude to unity, and succession to an instant as they are transferred to them from the poet�s spirit. 4.Intellectual energy and depth, �philosophical wisdom�, since poetry is the blossom and fragrancy of all human knowledge, human thoughts human passion, and language.
-The concept of �lingua communis� as a desirable norm for the poet. Wordsworth turns to the language of the low and rustic life to free his language from the poets who separate themselves from the sympathies of men, and indulge in arbitrary and capricious habits of expression. - Coleridge would no longer identify the lingua communis with the language of the urban community. Coleridge of common language rests on the kind of understanding that we believe was derived from education, and that is why Coleridge later in his criticism says that the poets� rules aught to be obtained by meditation rather than observation. - Coleridge�s lingua communis expresses an ideal standpoint, whereas Wordsworth uses the language of a specific class. - Coleridge said: "A man will not be benefited from a life in rural solitudes unless he has natural sensibility and suitable education."
According to Coleridge, Meter is another element that produces pleasure. And it is important in poetry because: 1)Create balance in mind which reflects balance in nature. 2)Create harmony between part and whole. 3)Vivacity of expression and passion. 4)Meter is the prosper form of poetry and will be defective without it. 5)Reflection of spiritual instinct of the individual. 6)Systematic and creates regularity. 7)Meter organizes content. 8)It gives emphasis to words that would otherwise escape attention. 9)Gives dignity and memorablity to idea. 10)Provide grace, energy, elevation and expressiveness.
� Eliot was born as an American, then moved to the United Kingdom in 1914 at the age of 25, and became British subject in 1927 at the age of 39. � He is one of the great critics of the 20th century. � His language is easier than the previous theorists because it is modern. � Eliot inspired and informed the movement of New criticism>> attention to texts themselves, and their rejection of criticism based on extra-textual sources, especially biography. The New critics resemble Eliot in their close analysis of particular passages and poems. � Eliot posits that, though the English tradition generally upholds the belief that art progresses through change, a separation from tradition, literary advancements are instead recognized only when they conform to the tradition. � For Eliot, the term of �tradition� is full of special and complex character. It represents a �simultaneous order�, by which Eliot means a historical timelessness (a fusion of past and present) and, at the same time, a sense of present temporality. � A poet must embody the whole of the literature of Europe from Homer, while simultaneously expressing his contemporary environment. � Eliot challenges our common perception that a poet�s greatness and individuality lies in his departure from his predecessors. Rather, Eliot argues that �the most individual parts of his (the poet) work may be those in which the dead poets, his ancestors, assert their immortality most vigorously�. � Eliot claims that this �historical sense� is not only a resemblance to traditional works, but an awareness and understanding of their relation to his poetry. � Eliot has a much more dynamic and progressive conception of the poetic process. � Novelty is possible, and only possible, through tapping into tradition. When a poet engages in the creation of new work, he realizes an aesthetic �ideal order�. � Eliot said: what happens when a new work of art is created is something that happens simultaneously to all the works of art that preceded it. Eliot refers to this organic tradition, this developing canon, as the �mind of Europe�. The private mind is subsumed by this more massive one. � Eliot refuse that the talent is related to genius. � Eliot said: we have to learn how to imitate past and create new work of art belong to the past.
Eliot�s �Impersonal Theory� of poetry:
Since the poet engages in a �continual surrender of himself� to the vast order of tradition, artistic creation is a process of depersonalization.
The mature poet is viewed as a medium, through which tradition is channeled and elaborated.
He compares the poet to a catalyst in a chemical reaction, in which the reactants are feelings and emotions that are synthesized to create an artistic image that captures these same feelings and emotions.
The poet is a medium (he does not have the major effect in the work itself).
Great Works do not express the personal emotion of the poet. The poet does not reveal his own unique and novel emotions, but rather, by drawing on ordinary ones and channeling them through the intensity of poetry, he expresses feelings that surpass, altogether, experienced emotion.
In �Hamlet and his Problems� Eliot presents the phrase �objective correlative� , to further define the impersonal theory of poetry:Tradition cannot be inherited, and if you want it, you must obtain it by great labour. Eliot here asserts that it is absolutely necessary for the poet to have an understanding of the poets before him, and to be well versed enough that he can understand and incorporate the �mind of Europe� into his poetry.
Structuralism is a theory focused upon the structure of human expression. It is a complex intellectual movement that first established its importance in France in the 1950 and 1960 and was by no means confined to the study of literary works. Like the New Criticism, structuralism aims at comprehensiveness of description, and many critics would insist that the two are complementary and not separated.
New Criticismis at its best in dealing with smaller units of literature. Structuralism is at its best in the analysis of narratives and therefore longer units such as novels, myths, and stories.
Structuralists worked their particular reading strategy on everything from mythology to linguistics to anthropology. E.g. Roland Barthes= fashion magazines and wrestling matches. The activity or work was generated by humans, and could be decoded. �Structuralism� �structure� concreteness (problematic meaning). �Structuralism� phenomena e.g. building physical in essence. Structures in structuralism are mental models built after concrete reality structures are not concrete manifestations of reality; but cognitive models of reality. Structures not obvious demand an understanding of hidden, deep aspects not based on concrete or physical phenomena as they are in biological or other sciences, but based on cultural realities (mental) such kinship organization or tales. Structures and their structuralist models exist only in human minds and not in nature. All cultures and not only scholars understand the universe around them through such models, and that humankind comprehends his world on the basis of these mental structures. As an analytical model, structuralism assumes the universality of human thought processes in efforts to explain the �deep structure� or underlying meaning existing in cultural phenomena.
Structuralists theorists: 1. Ferdinand de Saussure. 2. Ronald Barthes. 3. Michel Foucault. 4. Jacques Lacan. 5. Levi-Strauss.
Distinction: Surface structure: consciousness and superstructure. Deep structure: unconscious and infrastructure. -To understand the surface structure one has to understand the deep structure, and how it influences the surface structure. -Levi-Strauss brings into anthropology these and other influences which have shaped his thinking and anthropological thought through his work.
Human Mental Processes: There is a unity in the way the human mind functions. Although the manifestations may be very different, the human mental processes are the same in all cultures. The unity of the mental processes results from the biology of the human brain and the way it works.
Structural Analysis of Myth: Levi-Strauss work on myth parallels his interest in mental processes. His attempts to discover (unconscious) the regularities of the human mind. The dominant manner to study various cultural structures based on the use of: Surface and deep structure: to discover the model of a myth one must explore the deep structure of a myth. Binary opposition: these occur in nature and naturally in the human mind. They are such things as night and day, left and right or nature and culture. Mediation: a binary opposition can be mediated by finding a solution to the opposition created by the binary.
Structuralism in Literary theory and Literary criticism: -In literary theory, structuralism is an approach to analyzing the narrative material by examining the underlying invariant structure. -The other branch of literary structuralism is semiotics, and it is based on the work of Ferdinand de Saussure.
Elements of structuralism and its Application to Literary Theory: Meaning occurs through difference. Imaginative world is structured of, and structured by, binary opposition. Structuralism forms the basis for semiotics, the study of signs: a sign is a union of signifier and signified. the study of the cultural construction or identification of meaning according to the relations of signs that constitute the meaning-spectrum of the culture Some signs carry with them larger cultural meanings, usually very general, which are called myths.
-Structuralism thus conceives of human reality as a construction, as the product of signifying activities which are both culturally specific and generally unconscious.
� Freud was a psychoanalysis scientist. -Psychoanalysis: try to understand the human nature and the conflicts between layers of human which they suffer. -Psychoanalytic criticism: it is a literary theoretical approach deals with the characters of work of a literature through psychoanalysis point of view.
� Freud believes that all humans share the same layers in mind.
Distinction between three layers of human:
Ego (conscious and unconscious)
ID: � Reservoir of libidinal energy (psychic). (Primary source of all psychic energy). � Fulfills a primordial life principle (pleasure principle). � A source of aggression and desire. � Lawless, a moral, a social, works against society when they combined together. � Motivate by instinct react emotionally the result could be bad and negative. � It is a very active and energy layer and try to become up in the surface, but superego tries to put it down.
Ego: � It goes one step above the ID, and it is a manifestation of the individual characteristics of the human being. � Rational, governing agent of the human psyche. � Motivated by reason. so, it regulate instinctual behavior � Stands for reason (reality principle).
Superego: � Moral censoring agency. � Representative of moral and religious restraints. � Advocates the impulse toward perfection. � Represses and inhibits the ID. � When overactive, it creates a sense of guilt. � Thrust back the pleasure principle to the unconscious. � Try to depress the unconscious of the lower level (ID). � Superior layer. People who are in this level whatever they act are according to social rule. They are conscious about to these rules to control their behaviors. � It comes from the rules of society and religion.
Fantasying according to Freud: The creative writer does the same as the child at play. He creates a world of fantasy which he takes very seriously. That is, whish he invents with large amounts of emotion while separating it sharply from reality. A child play is determined by wishes; in point of fact by a single wish �one that helps in his upbringing- the wish to be big and grown up. he is always playing at being �grown up� , and in his games he imitates what knows about the lives of his elders. He has no reason to conceal this wish. With the adult, the case is different. On the one hand, he knows that he is expected not to go on playing or fantasying any longer, but to act in the real world; on the other hand, some of the wishes which give rise to his fantasies are of a kind which it is essential to conceal. Thus he is ashamed of his fantasies as being childish and as being impermissible.
Characteristics of fantasying: Freud said we may lay down that a happy person never fantasies, only an unsatisfied one. The motive forces of fantasies are unsatisfied wishes, and every single fantasy is the fulfillment of a wish, a correction of unsatisfying reality. These motivating wishes very according to the sex, character, and circumstances of the person who is having the fantasy.
Two main groups of Fantasy: � Ambitious wishes, which serve to elevate the subject�s personality. � Erotic wishes. - Adults suppresses their whishes I their unconscious and it get more activated and creates very perfect circumstances and the writers have all these components. So, he needs to express them in his writing. And fulfill his wishes in his work of art. � Symbols in work of art function as signs and tools that guide us to the writer life. � Also, the poet fulfill unconscious suppressed wishes in the work of art
- A strong experience in the present awakens in the creative writer a memory of an earlier experience (usually belonging to his childhood) from which there now proceeds a wish which finds its fulfillment in the creative work. - Freud believes that Literature is similar to unconscious.
Reasons of why they create imaginary worlds: Most of the individual mental processes are unconscious. Human behavior is motivated by desires (unfulfilled wishes). Many of the individual�s desires remain suppressed because of the powerful social taboos.