Poetics before Plato: Interpretation and Authority in Early Greek Theories of Poetry

Poetics before Plato: Interpretation and Authority in Early Greek Theories of Poetry

Grace M. Ledbetter


Combining literary and philosophical research, this learn defends an completely leading edge analyzing of the early background 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 conception is mostly stated to start with Plato's recognized critique of poetry within the Republic. Grace Ledbetter demanding situations this entrenched assumption by way of 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 by means of introducing separate readings of the poetics implicit within the poetry of Homer, Hesiod, and Pindar. studying 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 no longer 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' remedy of poetry. in contrast to the Republic's specialize in exposing and banishing poetry's irrational and inevitably corrupting impact, Socrates' concept contains poetry as subject material for philosophical inquiry inside of an tested life.

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

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