Argued for four level of interpretation including the anagogical Essay

Argued for four level of interpretation including the anagogical
Dante

The critic’s responsibility is to propagate the best that is known and thought in the world.
Matthew Arnold

Because of their power to corrupt, poets should not be allowed in society.
Socrates

Poetry’s source is an overflow of powerful feelings
Wordsworth

Mocked philosophers in the defense of poetry
Sir Philip Sidney

Believed art is creative imitation of a dynamic human world
Aristotle

Q 2: Plato’s disapproval of poets and their exclusion from Republic

In Books 1 & 2, Plato provides some preliminary reason for excluding poetry from his ideal republic. He is of the view that poetry is an inappropriate medium to differentiate between good and bad on one hand and just and unjust on the other hand. He provides the factors that are responsible of this lack of genuine understanding on part of poetry. Poetry is production inspiration and poet does takes into account pure understanding and reason. Furthermore, it provokes sentimentality rather than stimulating reason.

            In book 10, Plato provides some elaborated reason for excluding poetry from his republic. The second reason for Plato’s disapproval of poetry is its incapacity to depict truth. Plato is of the view that as poetry imitates the material world that itself is imitation of “really real”. So in this way poetry take people away from truth and reality. He further says in Book 10 that neither poetry teaches any practical knowledge nor does it provide any valuable information. It only draws it subject matter and strength from emotions that have no practical importance. He cites the example of Homer’s poetry and criticizes it that it does not tell about art of government or generalship. As poetry has captivating power so it pushes wrong emotions among people that becomes a major impediment in the way toward pure reason. So as poetry produces irrationality and emotionalism among people, so it has no place in the Plato’s republic.

            Plato says that if any of the poets remain in the republic, it could write a compelling rationale in prose why poets should be part of the society and how poetry could practically benefit society at large and contribute toward individual well-being in particular without arousing the sentimentality among its subjects.

Q 3: Jungian and Freudian theory of artistic production.

Freudian mode of artistic production is only limited to artist’s individual sub-conscious that view art an imagined realization and completion of artist’s dream-like subconscious. Freudian concept of artistic production is reduced to individual neurosis within a cultural context whereas Jung places artistic production in psychological as well in visionary mode i.e. artist’s creative energy is derived through individual subconscious but ultimately from collective consciousness. He actually interprets the collective consciousness of his times and in this process he can suffer from neurosis.  He considers Freud’s mode of artistic creation as an erroneous belief as he says that “[t]hough the material he [artist] works with and its individual treatment can easily be traced back to the poet’s personal relations with his parents, this does not enable us to understand his poetry.”  He further says that this can be true of an ordinary human being that has no artistic production. “One poet may be influenced more by his relation to his father, another by the tie to his mother, while a third shows unmistakable traces of sexual repression in his poetry. Since all this can be said equally well not only of every neurotic but of every normal human being, nothing specific is gained for the judgment of a work of art.” So there are additional archetypes other than operations of repression or oedipal dynamics that motivates an artistic production.

             In my viewpoint, Jungian explanation of artistic production is more comprehensive than Freudian. Freudian theory only tells about the psychological being of author and characters whereas Jungian theory connects the textual elements with broader collective consciousness and its archetypes. Freudian theory treats artist and hi characters as a “clinical case” and only explores their psychological beings. This sidetracks the critics and readers from the work of art.

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