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Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Aristotelian Criticism – Literary terms

Aristotelian Criticism, Literary terms

Aristotelian Criticism – Literary terms

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Aristotelian Criticism:

The type of inductive, analytical LITERARY CRITICISM originated by Aristotle in his Poetics. Plato had charged that POETRY (by which he meant all types of LITERATURE) lacked value because it was not true and that it was harmful because, instead of appealing to people's reason, it excited their passions. Aristotle responded by examining the literary works of his day scientifically. He analyzed the elements of each and described how the elements functioned as parts of the whole work. He took into consideration the subject matter of the work (the aspect of life that the work imitated), the means and the manner of presentation, and the effect of the work on the audience or reader. In this way, he was able to discover the essential nature and function of each GENRE, or type, of literature-TRAGEDY, COMEDY, and EPIC were the major genres in which poets wrote at the time. This gave him a basis for evaluating individual works, for showing what different genres had in common and how they differed from one another, and for defending literature as a whole against Plato's condemnation.

Aristotle's defense consisted of three key ideas:

(1) Literature is an IMITATION of life, combining universal psychological truths with probable events, not a literal account of actual events;

(2) The beginning-middle-ending structure of a literary work engages and satisfies the mind; and

(3) Rather than exciting people's emotions, experiencing literature offers people a therapeutic release of emotion (CATHARSIS).


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