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

By M. A. R. Habib

This finished consultant to the heritage of literary feedback from antiquity to the current day offers an authoritative assessment of the main events, figures, and texts of literary feedback, in addition to surveying their cultural, old, and philosophical contexts.

  • Supplies the cultural, historic 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 quite a lot 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 resources for A history of literary criticism and theory : from Plato to the present

Example text

Collectively, then, the guardians’ function in the city is a projection of the unifying function of reason in the individual soul. Hence, the political motivation of Plato’s aesthetics lies not only in the desired character of the guardians, but also in the nature and origin of the ideal city as a whole. It is here that Plato’s overarching disposition toward unity asserts itself most pervasively and at every level, from the point of origin of a city to its formally articulated bureaucratic structure.

6 What has emerged cumulatively from the foregoing account of the connections between justice and poetry is Plato’s presupposition that unity is the desired end of both individual and state constitution. He has repeatedly asserted that the democratic “mob,” be it the mob of appetites in the soul or the mob of citizens, must be controlled by a rational element (IV, 431a–d). Moreover, it is the goal of unity which dictates a strict division of labor, based on Plato’s view that individuals exercising a variety of functions would lead to the state’s ruin (IV, 434b).

5 The claims of the individual speakers emerge as mouthpieces of poetic authority. ” Polemarchus invokes the “wise and inspired man” Simonides in arguing that justice is the rendering to each his due. This provokes Socrates into saying that it “was a riddling definition of justice . . that Simonides gave after the manner of the poets” (331d– 332c). It is Socrates himself who makes the connection between his immediate antagonists and poetic lore, saying to Polemarchus: “A kind of thief then the just man it seems has turned out to be, and it is likely that you acquired this idea from Homer.

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