Criticism Theory

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By M. A. R. Habib

This finished consultant to the background of literary feedback from antiquity to the current day presents an authoritative assessment of the main routine, figures, and texts of literary feedback, in addition to surveying their cultural, ancient, and philosophical contexts.Supplies the cultural, ancient and philosophical history to the literary feedback of every period permits scholars to work out the improvement of literary feedback in contextOrganised 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 utilized along any anthology of literary feedback or as a coherent stand-alone creation

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Extra resources for A History of Literary Criticism and Theory: From Plato to the Present

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And the Cratylus discusses, inconclusively, various aspects of the nature of language, such as the connection between words and things. Plato’s most systematic comments on poetry, however, occur in two texts, separated by several years. The first is Ion, where Socrates cross-examines a rhapsode or singer on the nature of his art. The second, more sustained, commentary occurs in the Republic, some of which is reiterated in a more practical context in the Laws. In the first of these dialogues, Socrates discourses with a rhapsode (a singer and interpreter) named Ion.

In music . . ” Alert to the potential “insensible corruption” of the state, what they must guard against above all are “innovations in music and gymnastics counter to the established order . . For a change to a new type of music is something to beware of as a hazard of all our fortunes. ” Such innovations, fears Plato (who is speaking through Adeimantus), encourage a “lawlessness” which “by gradual infiltration . . softly overflows the characters and pursuits of men and from these issues forth grown greater to attack their business dealings, and from these relations it proceeds against the laws and the constitution with wanton license .

The Muse inspires the poet, who in turn passes on this inspiration to the rhapsode, who produces an inspired emotional effect on the spectators (Ion, 534c–e). Socrates likens this process to a magnet, which transmits its attractive power to a series of iron rings, which in turn pass on the attraction to other rings, suspended from the first set. The Muse is the magnet or loadstone; the poet is the first ring, the rhapsode is the middle ring, and the audience the last one (Ion, 533a, 536a–b). In this way, the poet conveys and interprets the utterances of the gods, and the rhapsode interprets the poets.

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