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Classical Period Criticism: Plato's Theory of Ideas

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20 Questions

According to Plato, what is the ultimate reality?

Ideas

Why does Plato view art as useless?

Because it serves no useful purpose in society

What is the primary issue with poetry, according to Plato?

It is twice removed from reality

Why does Plato think poetry fails in the test of reason?

Because it is suddenly inspired and not thoughtfully constructed

How does Plato think poetry affects humans?

It affects the emotions and makes humans temporary and unsafe

What is the main criticism of drama, according to Plato?

It is staged and uses cheap techniques to appeal to the audience

Why does Plato think the audience loses their individuality while watching a play?

Because they tend to become like the characters they see

What is Plato's view on the pleasure of tragedy and comedy?

He is against it because it offers pleasure to the audience

Why does Plato think poetry and drama are non-moral in character?

Because they treat both virtue and vice alike

What does Plato think is the most important aspect of a play?

The characters should be good and morally upright

What is the central concept in Plato's Theory of Ideas?

The ultimate reality of ideas

Why does Plato believe poetry is deceptive and potentially dangerous?

Because it can teach immoral lessons

What is Plato's main criticism of poetry's origin?

It is inspired suddenly, making it untruthful

How does Plato believe poetry affects humans?

It appeals to their emotions

Why does Plato think drama is different from poetry?

Because it is staged

What does Plato think is wrong with the characters in plays?

They are cowards, knaves, and criminals

Why does Plato object to the pleasure of tragedy and comedy?

Because it is pleasurable

What does Plato believe is the role of a play?

To teach moral lessons

Why does Plato think art is useless?

Because it serves no useful purpose

What is Plato's core criticism of poetry and drama?

They are immoral and untruthful

Study Notes

Plato's Critical Views on Art and Poetry

  • Plato's views on art and poetry are closely tied to his Theory of Ideas, which posits that ideas are the ultimate reality.
  • According to Plato, things are conceived as ideas before they take practical shape as things.

Criticism of Art

  • Plato views art as useless, as it adds neither knowledge nor intellectual value.
  • Art is seen as deceptive and potentially dangerous, sometimes teaching immoral lessons.

Criticism of Poetry

  • Poetry is considered twice removed from reality, making men believe in imperfection.
  • Poets are inspired suddenly, which cannot be truthful, and poetry fails the test of reason.
  • Poetry affects emotions, not reason, and appeals to the heart, not the intellect.
  • Emotions are temporary and cannot be safe guides to men.
  • Poetry is non-moral in character, treating both virtue and vice alike, and corrupting human beings.

Criticism of Drama

  • Drama is a branch of poetry, and its approval and disapproval depend on the audience.
  • Dramatists use cheap techniques like quarrels, lamentations, thunder, and sounds of animals to convince the audience, which are shameful in normal life.
  • Audience members who watch characters who are cowards, knaves, and criminals tend to become one such character, losing their individuality.
  • Such characters should not be present in a play; a play should have good characters.
  • Plato is against the pleasure that tragedy and comedy give, as they exploit human emotions like anger, fear, and grief for pleasure.
  • In comedy, people laugh at cowardly or criminal characters, who should be pitied, not laughed at.

Plato's Critical Views on Art and Poetry

  • Plato's views on art and poetry are closely tied to his Theory of Ideas, which posits that ideas are the ultimate reality.
  • According to Plato, things are conceived as ideas before they take practical shape as things.

Criticism of Art

  • Plato views art as useless, as it adds neither knowledge nor intellectual value.
  • Art is seen as deceptive and potentially dangerous, sometimes teaching immoral lessons.

Criticism of Poetry

  • Poetry is considered twice removed from reality, making men believe in imperfection.
  • Poets are inspired suddenly, which cannot be truthful, and poetry fails the test of reason.
  • Poetry affects emotions, not reason, and appeals to the heart, not the intellect.
  • Emotions are temporary and cannot be safe guides to men.
  • Poetry is non-moral in character, treating both virtue and vice alike, and corrupting human beings.

Criticism of Drama

  • Drama is a branch of poetry, and its approval and disapproval depend on the audience.
  • Dramatists use cheap techniques like quarrels, lamentations, thunder, and sounds of animals to convince the audience, which are shameful in normal life.
  • Audience members who watch characters who are cowards, knaves, and criminals tend to become one such character, losing their individuality.
  • Such characters should not be present in a play; a play should have good characters.
  • Plato is against the pleasure that tragedy and comedy give, as they exploit human emotions like anger, fear, and grief for pleasure.
  • In comedy, people laugh at cowardly or criminal characters, who should be pitied, not laughed at.

Explore Plato's critical views on art and society, as discussed in his Theory of Ideas in The Republic, where he sees art as useless and deceptive.

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