Essay: Aristotle's Poetics

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Aristotle's "poetics" in the context of Plato's "Apology"

Aristotle's "Poetics" is the earliest work that takes on a philosophical approach at discussing literary theory. The concepts that the philosopher puts across throughout this work are essential in getting a more complex understanding of various literary works that have been created across time. Plato's "Apology" is especially important when discussing it from the perspective of Aristotelian philosophy, as readers are virtually enabled to understand the exact intentions of the writer at particular moments. As Plato wanted to put across an account regarding a man who speaks in his own defense with the purpose of convincing others concerning the purity of his thinking he brings on a series of concepts that one is likely to identify in "Poetics."

Catharsis is probably one of the first Aristotelian concepts that a person is probable to observe in Plato's text. Socrates initially wants to clarify matters with the purpose of making it possible for his audience to gain a better understanding of the matter under discussion. By emphasizing the ignorance dominating his thinking he expects his listeners to acknowledge that he is speaking from the perspective of a simple man instead of trying to manipulate their thinking by making use of his oratorical skills.

Socrates' character uses catharsis during his speech with the intention of clearing the minds of the judges, as he is well aware that his accusers have gone through great efforts in order to influence these people's thinking. His claim that the words of his accusers "almost made me forget who I was -- such was the effect of them; and yet they have hardly spoken a word of truth" (Plato) were obviously intended to address the clear thinking that he believed dominated the minds of his judges.

The Athenians actually perform an act of tragic hamartia at the point when they actually come to believe that Socrates needs to be harshly punished as a result of his presumed breaking of several laws. Even with this, it is only safe to say that even though Socrates lost in his attempts to convince the judges concerning his innocence, philosophy in general experienced a victory at this point. Socrates actually wants to demonstrate that even though the system uses force in an attempt to control the public, he is beyond the reach of his society's leaders and his philosophy cannot possibly be affected by… [END OF PREVIEW]

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