Download E-books Poetics before Plato: Interpretation and Authority in Early Greek Theories of Poetry PDF

By Grace M. Ledbetter

Combining literary and philosophical research, this research defends an completely leading edge interpreting of the early historical past of poetics. it's the first to argue that there's a distinctively Socratic view of poetry and the 1st to attach the Socratic view of poetry with past literary tradition.

Literary thought is mostly acknowledged to start with Plato's recognized critique of poetry within the Republic. Grace Ledbetter demanding situations this entrenched assumption through arguing that Plato's prior dialogues Ion, Protagoras, and Apology introduce a distinctively Socratic thought of poetry that responds polemically to conventional poets as rival theorists. Ledbetter tracks the assets of this Socratic reaction through introducing separate readings of the poetics implicit within the poetry of Homer, Hesiod, and Pindar. interpreting those poets' theories from a brand new perspective that uncovers their literary, rhetorical, and political goals, she demonstrates their decisive impact on Socratic brooding about poetry.

The Socratic poetics Ledbetter elucidates focuses now not on censorship, yet at the interpretation of poetry as a resource of ethical knowledge. This philosophical method of reading poetry stands at odds with the poets' personal theories--and with the Sophists' therapy of poetry. not like the Republic's concentrate on exposing and banishing poetry's irrational and inevitably corrupting impression, Socrates' concept comprises poetry as material for philosophical inquiry inside an tested life.

Reaching again into what has too lengthy been thought of literary theory's prehistory, Ledbetter advances arguments that would redefine how classicists, philosophers, and literary theorists take into consideration Plato's poetics.

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