Critical Moments in Classical Literature: Studies in the by Richard Hunter

By Richard Hunter

Via a chain of cutting edge serious readings Richard Hunter builds an image of ways the ancients mentioned the which means of literary works and their value in society. He will pay specific recognition to the interaction of feedback and creativity by way of no longer treating feedback in isolation from the works which the critics mentioned. consciousness is given either to the advance of a historical past of feedback, so far as our assets let, and to the consistent recurrence of comparable topics around the centuries. on the head of the booklet stands the competition of Aeschylus and Euripides in Aristophanes' Frogs which foreshadows extra of the next severe culture than is frequently realised. different chapters are dedicated to historical mirrored image on Greek and Roman comedy, to the Augustan critic Dionysius of Halicarnassus, to 'Longinus', at the chic, and to Plutarch. All Greek and Latin is translated.

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Moral endangerment At Frogs 1009–10 Euripides acknowledges that, through their cleverness and the advice they give, poets should make men ‘better in the cities’, a claim clearly related to those of Protagoras’ great speech in Plato’s dialogue, and then (vv. ) he has to defend his ‘Phaedras and Stheneboias’ which, according to Aeschylus, have produced immorality rather than virtue. ‘How’, asks Euripides (v. ’ Here too we should think ahead. Aristotle notes that one basis for criticism of poetry is that it is ‘harmful’, blaber»n (Poetics 1461b23); the category has caused trouble to modern critics because Aristotle does not actually give any examples of such accusations or how to ‘solve’ them, but it is not difficult to imagine what is involved.

Be that as it may, this subsequent history may serve as another reminder that the commitment of the Aristophanic Euripides to a kind of ‘realism’ 68 69 See Phaedrus 261a7–8, 271c10. At Ion 536a Socrates at least evokes yucagwg©a as the proper effect of poetry. , Brink on Horace, Ars P 100, 333. 38 Critical Moments in Classical Literature is also a commitment to a kind of ‘truth’ susceptible of elenchos, a truth which dismisses Aeschylean tragedy to the realm of the utterly fictitious. If we go back to Frogs, we can see how this pattern also informs Dionysus’ decision-making process.

The deception is successful if someone arranges their composition after selecting from ordinary discourse (e«wqu±a di†lektov); this is the manner of Euripides, who was the first to show how this could be done. 1404b14–26) ‘Longinus’ follows in Aristotle’s footsteps in this matter: I have clearly demonstrated56 that many prose writers and poets, who are not sublime by nature and indeed perhaps quite without grandeur, nevertheless while largely employing the current diction of ordinary people (koino±v kaª dhmÛdesi to±v ½n»masi) and adding nothing unusual to it, have achieved impressiveness and distinction (Àgkon kaª di†sthma) and a reputation for rising above the low; among the many examples are Philistos, Aristophanes sometimes, and Euripides very often.

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