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For him, art bore an integral relationship to the "struggle between Revolution Poetry has been charged with "aestheticizing," thus being complicit in, the Poetry has been written-off on other counts: it's not a mass-market. Our instinctive connection to that long-off war is the poetry of the trenches, not the history books. Then, scanning all the o'ercrowded mass, should you soaked in his blood, in battle rage, charge the German positions. "Mariana" is a poem by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, published in The poem follows a common theme in much of Tennyson's work—that of despondent isolation.
However, Oriana is able to have control over her own story when she serves as narrator of it while Mariana is denied control by Tennyson's use of a third-person narrative structure. The difference is further compounded by Oriana's imprisonment coming from her own memories while Mariana's is the external results of her lover having not returned.
The character Fatima of Fatima is connected to "Mariana" simply because she is a reversal of Mariana's character: Fatima, like Mariana, waits for her lover but suffers from an intense passion that causes her to lose control over her mind while also being able to experience the world around her.
The character Oenone of "Oenone" is a combination of aspects from both Mariana's and Fatima's characters. However, there is little evidence to suggest that Keats, though well respected by Tennyson, influenced the poem although Keats's Isabella is linguistically similar to "Mariana" and could serve as a parallel.
If Isabella is parallel to "Mariana" in terms of dealing with women who have lost their lovers, so too could Virgil's Aeneid be described as a parallel to the poem. Thematically, "Mariana" is different from the writing of Horace although Tennyson does rely on a lyrical style similar to both Cinna and Horace. A relationship with the poetry of Sappho is more likely than to Cinna, as there is a sexual element to Sappho's poem as well as Tennyson favouring Sappho as a poet.
The poem by Rogers was a favourite of Tennyson's and has a sexual element that is similar to Tennyson; both poems describe a woman longing for her lover as she is isolated and in a captive state. There are probably intentional echos of Romeo and Juliet and Measure for Measure within the poem, with the latter play being the source of Mariana's character.
The reference to Lycidas is minor and is more likely a generic phrase than a direct use of Milton's poem. Fox praises the depiction of women within the whole of Poems, Chiefly Lyrics and says that Tennyson's "portraits are delicate, his likenesses [ They are nicely assorted also to all the different gradations of emotion and passion which are expressed in common with the descriptions of them. There is an appropriate object for every shade of feeling, from the light touch of passing admiration to the triumphant madness of soul and sense, or the deep and everlasting anguish of survivorship.
Eliot 's Essays Ancient and Modern, he praises Tennyson's ability to represent the visual, tactile, auditory, and olfactory aspects of the scene. The line, "Someone had blundered," almost casually inserted in verse two, is an understatement in the context, and all the more effective for it.
Since the poem soon became essential reading for the soldiers in the field, it seems that Tennyson's imagination stood the test of authenticity: The poem is remarkable for the simplicity and dramatic immediacy of its description. The relentless pace of the cavalry as they gallop into "the mouth of Hell" is vividly rendered in the breathlessly short lines and thundering rhythms, whereas the return of the survivors brings a gasp of shocked recognition: Tennyson's poem doesn't contribute to the analysis of the "blunder" itself, though he might have found rich material in the psychology of the main players.
I don't think it sets out to glorify war, but it's certainly not a protest. It recreates the sabre-flashing excitement of warfare, even in the ironical context of bare sabres against guns.
There's a certain theatricality and exaggeration in the twice-repeated line, "All the world wonder'd". Skilful elision and brilliantly descriptive shorthand at times approach cliche. Few people today would imagine that there is any interesting relation between poetry and rhetoric. Yet Plato himself associates the two very closely: Thus Plato provides our warrant for investigating the topics together.
This linkage between poetry and rhetoric is of course controversial, and will be discussed below. Quite clearly, our themes are very large in scope, and indeed nearly every one of Plato's dialogues is relevant to one or more of them. The present essay will confine itself to just four dialogues, the Ion, Republic, Gorgias, and Phaedrus.
I will discuss them in that order, and in the final section of the essay shall briefly examine the famous question of the poetic and rhetorical dimension of Plato's own writings. I shall look for connections between our four dialogues, though I do not believe that our chosen texts present a picture of poetry and rhetoric that is altogether unified indeed, this could not be claimed even of the Republic taken by itself. The debate about which assumptions are best is an ongoing one, but not germane to the present discussion.
In referring to Socrates, I shall mean only the figure as represented by Plato; nothing follows, for present purposes, about the historical accuracy of Plato's depiction. Further, it is not the case that the views Plato puts into the mouth of his Socrates are necessarily espoused by Plato himself; they may or may not be those of Plato. Since Plato did not write a treatise in his own voice, telling us what his views are, it is impossible to know with certainty which views he espouses at least on the basis of the works he composed.
In several cases, one of which will be examined in the final section of this essay, it seems reasonably clear that Plato cannot be espousing without qualification a view that his Socrates is endorsing. With these principles firmly in mind, however, I shall occasionally refer as I already have to Plato as presenting this or that view.
For as author of all the statements and drama of the dialogues, he does indeed present the views in question; and on occasion it is convenient and simpler to say he is advocating this or that position for example, the position that there is an ancient quarrel between philosophy and poetry. He is a performer but not a stage actor.
Ion is depicted as superb at making the Iliad and Odyssey come alive, at communicating their drama to his audience and at involving them intimately. As he puts it in the dialogue that bears his name: But Ion thinks himself capable of yet more, for he also claims to be an expert in explaining what Homer means.
He's an exegete see a7 or interpreter par excellence, and this claim especially intrigues Socrates. He does not permit Ion to actually exhibit his skills as a rhapsode, and instead insists that he engage in give-and-take about the abilities Ion claims to possess.
This is typical of Socrates' method; he forces his interlocutor to give an account of his commitments and way of life. As both reciter and exegete, the rhapsode has no exact analogue today. Nonetheless, the implications of the Ion are broad; while Ion is not a poet himself, he bears important traits in common with the poet. The thrust of Socrates' initial questioning is revealing. Essentially, he attempts to show that Ion is committed to several theses that are not compatible with one another, unless a rather peculiar, saving assumption is introduced.
Ion claims that he is a first rate explicator of Homer; that he is a first rate explicator only of Homer, and loses interest as well as competence if another poet such as Hesiod is brought up a3—4, b8—c2; c4—8 ; and that Homer discusses his subjects much better than do any other poets d4—11, a4—8.
Notice that Socrates's first order of business is to get Ion to agree that a number of claims are being made by him; while this may seem obvious, it is an essential condition for Socrates' inquiry, and is a distinctive characteristic of the sort of thing Socrates does as a philosopher.
If Ion is an exegete or explicator of Homer's poems, he must surely understand what the poet means, else he could not explain the poet's thoughts. This seemingly commonsensical point is asserted by Socrates at the start c1—5and happily accepted by Ion.
However, if Ion understands what the poet says about X, and judges that the poet speaks best about X, he must be in a position to assess other poets' pronouncements about the subject in question.
For example, Homer talks a great deal about how war is waged; as an expert on Homer who claims that Homer spoke beautifully about that subject in the sense of got it rightIon must be in a position to explain just how Homer got it right and how Hesiod, say, got it wrong, as a series of simple analogies show.
If you can knowledgeably e10 pick out a good speaker on a subject, you can also pick out the bad speaker on it, since the precondition of doing the former is that you have knowledge of the relevant subject matter.
But this seems to contradict Ion's assertion that he can explain only Homer, not the other poets. Let us recapitulate, since the steps Socrates is taking are so important for his critique of poetry it is noteworthy that at several junctures, Socrates generalizes his results from epic to dithyrambic, encomiastic, iambic, and lyric poetry; e5—a7, b7—c7.
To interpret Homer well, we have to understand what Homer said; to do that, and to support our judgment that he spoke superlatively well, we have to understand the subject matter about which Homer speaks just as we would in, say, evaluating someone's pronouncements about health.
Walk on the Wild Side: Snapshots of the Chinese Poetry Scene | MCLC Resource Center
Further, Homer himself must have understood well that about which he speaks. As interpreters or assessors, we are claiming to be experts judging a claim in this case Homer's to expertise, just as though we were members of a medical examination board considering an application to the profession. So as interpreters we are making claims about the truth of Homer's teachings about XYZ; and thus we are assuming that Homer sought to state the truth about XYZ. Given that he discusses the central topics of human and godly life c1-d2it would seem that Homer claims to be wise, and that as his devoted encomiasts we too must be claiming to be wise d6-e1.
But claims to wisdom are subject to counter-claims the poets disagree with each other, as Socrates points out ; and in order to adjudicate between them, as well as support our assessment of their relative merits, we must open ourselves to informed discussion both technical and philosophical. It is but a step from there to the proposition that neither Ion nor Homer can sustain their claims to knowledge, and therefore could not sustain the claim that the poems are fine and beautiful works.
In passage after passage, Homer pronounces on subjects that are the province of a specialized techne art or skillthat is, a specialized branch of knowledge. But neither the rhapsode nor Homer possesses knowledge of all or indeed perhaps any of those specialized branches generalship, chariot making, medicine, navigation, divination, agriculture, fishing, horsemanship, cow herding, cithara playing, wool working, etc.
Ion attempts to resist this by claiming that thanks to his study of Homer, he knows what a general for example should say d5. So Ion, and by extension Homer, are faced with a series of unpalatable alternatives: They could continue to defend the claim that they really do know the subjects about which they discourse—in the sense of possess the techne kai episteme of them, i. Yet if they do defend that claim they will be liable to examination by relevant experts. They could admit that they do not know what they are talking about.
This admission could be understood in several ways: To this might be added the claim that the poets and their exponents know the nature of the cosmos and of the divine. In the Republic Socrates in effect allows them comprehensive claims to knowledge along those lines, and then attacks across the board, seeking to show that the poets have got it wrong on all important counts.
So when Ion claims that Homer speaks beautifully about X, he just means that Homer speaks beautifully in a rhetorical sense even though he Homer does not necessarily know what he is talking about. By extension, the poet would on this interpretation make the same claim about himself. This would seem to reduce them to rhetoricians, which in effect is what Socrates argues in the Gorgias, with the further proviso that rhetoric as popularly practiced is not even a techne.
Poetry-as-mere-rhetoric is not a promising credential for authority either to educate all of Greece or to better one's audience; b. Ion would be liable to the question as to how he knows all that, however; and in any case would at best shift Socrates' attack to the real target, viz.
It consists in the thesis that Ion recites and Homer composes not from knowledge but from divine inspiration. Neither knows what he is saying, but is nonetheless capable of speaking or composing beautifully thanks to the divine. They are like the worshippers of Bacchus, out of their right minds b4—6. This creative madness, as we might call it, they share with other Muse-inspired artists as well as prophets and diviners b7-d1.
This is supposed to explain why Ion can recite only Homer beautifully; he's been divinely inspired only in that area, and that is all he means when he says that Homer is better than his rival poets.
The spark is generated by the god, and is passed down through the poet to the rhapsode and then to the audience. In Socrates' unforgettable simile, the relationship of the god to poet to rhapsode to audience is like a magnetized sequence of rings, each of which sticks to the next thanks to the power of the divine magnet at the start e7—b4as though they were links in a chain as we might put it.
This simile helps to answer an important question: Socrates' answer is that as the last link on this chain of inspiration, we are capable of being deeply affected by poetry. In the Ion he doesn't offer a further explanation of how this effect is supposed to happen—for that, we will turn to the Republic—but the important point is that it does happen.
It would seem that the audience is transformed by the experience in a way that momentarily takes them out of themselves.
Perhaps it does not leave them as they were, for their understanding of what properly elicits their grief or their laughter would seem to be shaped by this powerful experience, an experience they presumably repeat many times throughout childhood and beyond.
None of this would matter much if superb poetry left us unmoved, or in any case as we were. Plato's critique depends on the assumption that poetry can and does shape the soul. One problem is indicated by the last few lines of the dialogue, where Socrates offers Ion a choice: How easy it would be to confuse divine and human madness to borrow a distinction from the Phaedrus a5—c4!
And not all of the contenders for the prize Ion has won could be equally worthy of promotion to divine status. For Plato, this means that they must be held accountable. It is philosophy's mission to force them to give an account of themselves, and to examine its soundness.
This would mean that they are required to engage philosophy on its turf, just as Ion has somewhat reluctantly done. The legitimacy of that requirement is itself a point of contention, it is one aspect of the quarrel between philosophy and poetry. It turns out that philosophic guardians are to rule the polis, and the next question concerns their education e2. The concern in book II is very much with the proper education of a citizen, as befits the project of creating a model city.
From the outset, Socrates treats the poems those by Hesiod and Homer are singled out, but the critique isn't meant to be confined to them as though they contained not just falsehoods, but falsehoods held up as models of good behavior. The poems are taken as educational and thus broadly political texts; persuasion see c7 of a class of the young is very much at stake. The young cannot judge well what is true and false; since a view of things taken on at early age is very hard to eradicate or change, it is necessary to ensure that they hear only myths that encourage true virtue d7-e3.
Thus while the critique of poetry in book II and beyond is in this sense shaped by the contextual concerns, it is not limited to them. The scope of the critique is breathtaking. Along the way Socrates makes yet another point of great importance, namely that the poets ought not be permitted to say that those punished for misdeeds are wretched; rather, they must say that in paying a just penalty, bad men are benefited by the god b2—6.
Socrates is starting to push against the theses that bad people will flourish or that good people can be harmed.
The cosmos is structured in such a way as to support virtue. The concern now is squarely with poetry that encourages virtue in the souls of the young. Courage and moderation are the first two virtues considered here; the psychological and ethical effects of poetry are now scrutinized.
The entire portrait of Hades must go, since it is neither true nor beneficial for auditors who must become fearless in the face of death. Death is not the worst thing there is, and all depictions of famous or allegedly good men wailing and lamenting their misfortunes must go or at least, be confined to unimportant women and to bad men; e9—a3. The poets must not imitate see c3 for the term gods or men suffering any extremes of emotion, including hilarity, for the strong souls are not overpowered by any emotion, let along any bodily desire.
Plato on Rhetoric and Poetry
Nor do they suffer from spiritual conflict c. He does so in a way that marks a new direction in the conversation. The issue turns out to be of deep ethical import, because it concerns the way in which poetry affects the soul. Up until now, the mechanism, so to speak, has been vague; now it becomes a little bit clearer. The notion of mimesis, missing from the Ion, now takes center stage. For then the poet is likening himself to this character, and trying to make the audience believe that it's the character speaking.
Some poetry comedy and tragedy are mentioned proceeds wholly by imitation, another wholly by simple narration dithyrambs are mentionedand epic poetry combines the two forms of narrative. What follows this classificatory scheme is a polemic against imitation. The initial thesis is that every person can do a fine job in just one activity only. Consequently, nobody can do a fine job of imitating more than one thing for example, an actor cannot be a rhapsode, a comic poet cannot be a tragic poet, if any of these is finely done.
Imitation is itself something one does, and so one cannot both imitate X say, generalship well and also do the activity X in question eb. It has to be said that this thesis is set out with little real argument. In any case, the best souls the guardians, in this case, in the city in speech ought not imitate anything.
And were they to imitate anything, every care must be taken that they are ennobled rather than degraded as a result. Unlike simple narrative, mimesis poses a particular psychic danger, because as the speaker of the narrative one may take on the character of literary persona in question.
There is no airtight barrier between throwing yourself especially habitually into a certain part, body and soul, and being molded by the part; no firm boundary, in that sense, between what happens on and off the stage. By contrast, Socrates argues, a simple narration preserves distance between narrator and narrated. Before passing onto critiques of music and gymnastic, Socrates concludes this section of his critique of poetry with the stipulation that a poet who imitates all things both good and bad in all styles cannot be admitted into the good polis.
It seems not to distinguish between the poet, the reciter of the poem, and the audience; no spectatorial distance is allowed to the audience; and the author is allowed little distance from the characters he is representing. All become the speakers or performers of the poem when they say or think the lines; and speaking the poem, taking it on as it were, is alleged to have real effects on one's dispositions.
They do not produce a true likeness of their topics. The renewed criticism leads up to the famous statement that there exists an ancient quarrel between poetry and philosophy.
Book X starts us off with a reaffirmation of a main deficiency of poets: Socrates posits that there are Forms or Ideas of beds and tables, the maker of which is a god; there are imitations thereof, namely beds and tables, produced by craftsmen such as carpenters who behold the Forms as though they were looking at blueprints ; thirdly, there are imitators of the products of the craftsmen, who, like painters, create a kind of image of these objects in the world of becoming.
The tripartite schema presents the interpreter with many problems.