Download A History of Literary Criticism and Theory: From Plato to by M. A. R. Habib PDF

By M. A. R. Habib

This entire consultant to the historical past of literary feedback from antiquity to the current day presents an authoritative assessment of the foremost activities, figures, and texts of literary feedback, in addition to surveying their cultural, old, and philosophical contexts.Supplies the cultural, historic and philosophical historical past to the literary feedback of every period allows scholars to determine the advance 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 advent

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

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And so with Tallness, Equality, or Goodness, which Plato sees as the highest of the Forms. Plato even characterizes entire objects as having their essence in the ideal Forms; hence a bed in the physical world is an imperfect copy of the ideal bed in the world of Forms. The connection between the two realms can best be illustrated using examples from geometry: any triangle or square that we construct using physical instruments is bound to be imperfect. At most it can merely approximate the ideal triangle which is perfect and which is perceived not by the senses but by reason: the ideal triangle is not a physical object but a concept, an idea, a Form.

According to Plato, the originating circumstance of a city is that individuals are not self-sufficient. No person can adequately provide the total of his or her own needs (II, 369b). The deeper premise beneath this is a strict specialization of function whereby “One man is naturally fitted for one task” (II, 370b). Plato is adamant on this point, insisting that “it is impossible for one man to do the work of many arts well” and that in the ideal city every man would work at “one occupation . .

One has only to think of the intolerable network of contradictions in which Achilles, Oedipus, and other legendary figures are trapped to appreciate the profound irrationality of that poetic vision, as instanced spectacularly in the arbitrary connections it posits between human and divine spheres. This irrationality will eventually inform Plato’s indictment of the whole sphere of poetry. The major dialogues of Plato’s middle period – Gorgias, Meno, Apology, Crito, Phaedo, Symposium, Republic – move beyond the largely moral concerns of the historical Socrates into the realms of epistemology (theory of knowledge), metaphysics, political theory, and art.

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