The concept of nature and verisimilitude in Aristo

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The work of both Aristotle and Horace, have enormous implication form the time it was originally produced till nowadays, through the centuries their critical analysis had served as tools which others used to enhance and develop theatre theory and criticism. However their implication seems greater in the Renaissance, a period in which by far has the ancient works been used to shape critical thought, and served as foundations upon which to expand and develop. However, the above stated can easily lead one to conclude that the works mentioned are of a great importance to the theatrical text in general, and not only in a particular historic period but through his first occurrences to present day, and that undeniably shows the direct even if not always effortlessly notable connection, between the ancient works and any dramatic criticism subsequently. Furthermore considering this fact the aim of this work will be to show explicitly, the importance of the role of nature and verisimilitude, in the ancient works and their use and implication in the Renaissance, and by doing I hope that I should be able to prove the direct link between the classical and Renaissance criticism.

However before shall I begun I believe it is crucially important to be mention that, although undoubtedly the Renaissance criticism is based after the classical models of Aristotle and Horace and few other authors who would not be mention since their work is not a subject of that assignment. One also can sharply sense how conflicting the two literature schools could be, and the notion of rebellion of the modern towards the ancient could be strongly felt However fist, variable that we have to take in notion while reading both Aristotle and Horace, and looking for implications of their work in the Renaissance text is, that all literature writings are in straightforward connection with the literal culture and environment of their place and time, this fact should not be neglected and one should try to perceive and comprehend the theories through the prism of their own time. If one fails to do so, he risks to be misled and he might fail to notice the thin link which in the case of that assignment is, between the ancient classic text and its Renaissance counterparts. The both text discussed here are been used on numerous occasions in the Renaissance as a sort of manual to dramatic criticism, and number of Renaissance critics had based their own work on them. However as we already mention the renaissance text gained the bulk of his concepts form the classical works, however we are obliged to admit that that process was not a simply one way copying of already established notion but rather a homogenous one in which the old and the new idea influenced each other to produces, or rather develop new whole. Not long after the books on the theory and practice of literature, Aristotle's Poetics and Horace's The Art of Poetry, became available to the general public they started sharply to influence and shift the notion of drama, however although undoubtedly the both works discuss the art of poetry there is significant differences in the main concepts on which they concentrate. I believe that that should be clearly stated in order one to be able to understand how the stream of ideas on text that the books provided mixed in the perception of the Renaissance artist and how that mixture resulted in the moulding of new individual concepts. Poetics deals with the discussion on how poetry can be used to represent character. The portrayal of 'good' characters is tragic one the representation of 'bad' characters is a comic one. However Aristotle sees plot as the most important thing, which ought to represent a single emphatic action. Other things, such as the representation of character and intellect, song writing and spectacle, are seen as less important. That his idea he reinforced with the notion that the drama as imitation of life is imitation of action and not of men and its aim is mode of action, not of quality, therefore he states that the dramatic action is not with a view to the representation of character, character comes in as subsidiary to the actions, and without action there could be no tragedy or drama in that matter. Therefore the plot is of a greater importance for drama. The unities of place, time and action are mentioned, and were familiar to the bulk of the Renaissance writers, however there were not given a huge importance, although not totally neglected they remained somehow secondary during the renaissance, to achieve a higher status of importance in the 18th century drama. Horace work was a development and interpretation of Aristotle. However in which the emphasis is less on describing the methods and techniques of representation, but on ideals of decency within poetry. The Renaissance ideal of Decorum is partly based on the Roman model of Horace, the opening of the art of poetry clearly illustrates that and explains at length the correct and appropriate form for different types of subject matter: "Suppose a painter wished to couple a horse's neck with man's head and to lay feathers of every hue on limbs gathered here and there, so that a woman, lovely above, foully ended in an ugly fish bellow; would you restrain your laughter my friend, if admitted to a private view? Believe me, dear Pisos, a book will appear uncommonly like that, picture if impossible figures are wrought into it-like a sick man's dream-with the result that neither head nor foot is ascribed to a single shape, and unity is lost. "But poets and painters have always had an equal right to indulge their whims." Quiet so: and this excuse we claim for ourselves and grant others: but not so that harsh may mate with gentle, serpents be paired with birds, lambs with tigers." (Dramatic criticism pp. 67-68) Another aspect that could be find in both classical works and is clearly present in the Renaissance text as well, is the idea that drama had the aim to :"Entertain and instruct" or "Teach and delight". The notion is clearly reflected in the Renaissance theatre, and in it one can hardly find any different that the typical classical character. That not necessarily means that there are not any negative characters, on the contrary there are but they serve rather as subjective entities with which one could compare and contrast the positive characters, as kind of reinforcement of the notion that without any evil we cannot recognise the good. However in order that statement to be fully coherent I have to specify what exactly I mean by saying that in the Renaissance theatre, there weren't any characters which strongly differ from the classic type. To understand that notion one, shouldn't look in the characters deeds but rather in the motivation behind them. Example of that could clearly be Machiavelli "La mandrogola", although the actions of the characters at first seem completely out of the context of the, classic characters stock, the motives behind them are still firmly based on the time contemporary morals, and the initial doubt is clear out when one applies the text to its historical context. However one can hardly if at all find any characters, which are rebellious not so much in their behaviour but rather in their inner conflict with the established society morals. Although risking to repeat my self I will once more mention that the statement above did not meant to express the idea that all the classical and renaissance characters deeds were righteous but only that their inner motivation the drive behind their actions was not in any case in contradiction with the established moral values of their contemporary historical settings.

Before I continue further with the course of that work, I want to discuss in brief another general difference between the work of Aristotle and Horace. In the Poetics one can clearly seem the scientific approach that the author adopt towards the studying of the art form, his critics upon drama are based rather on an empirical data, rather than a natural creative impulse, as a skill with which can be acquired from anyone with enough eager and patience to study and master the rules for it. On the other hand Horace as evident even from the name of his work, focuses more on the notion of Poetry as a product of art a divine form of expression which can not be viewed as an ordinary skill to be acquired by any one. However there is a sharp similarity between the books and at first the concept in "The Art of Poetry" can seem to one as scientific as in "Poetics" this could be due to the fact that more sensitive Horace attempt to determine the natural, resulted in confusing it with the conventional and accepted the last one a satisfactory alternative, and accepted convention as a time sufficient guide. Those two fundamental differences converge in the renaissance. Were the skill of the author was viewed as both a product of a skilful mastery of a literature tools but as well as possession of divine artistic wit and talent.

The unity of the plot was an issue the certainly concerned both authors discussed here and was of a great importance during the Renaissance. Aristotle argue that simply imitation of an character life could not bring unity to the plot by itself, the incidents which constitute the plot should be carefully arranged in order unity to be achieved, and the plot has to be centred around an action which is unified, thus placing on the unity of the plot the main importance for achieving of the verisimilitude. Horace also accepted unity as a central factor for the coherent structure of the plot, but he also declare unity as one of the most important aesthetic qualities of the play, as he believed that the goodness of the poetry hides not in its the form and content but in the unity between them. On the contrary Aristotle seem more concerned with the unity of form and time, as he believes that the drama could not be believable if does not have beginning, middle and end. However in both classical work we fail to find the general notion, of the three unities which will play such a great importance in the Renaissance. Here we can once again notice the shift or the re-emergence of new concepts out of the old one during the period.

And finally I would like to say that in this work I had try to present the huge implication of the work of Horace and Aristotle through the Renaissance, I had try to show how that whole historical period is guided by the work of the ancient classics, but also to underline the shifts which the dramatic theory and writing undergoes. However despite the numerous issues concerned in both works, one to me seems of crucial importance, the ability of work of art to move the deep personal emotions. Aristotle calls that quality of the poetry catharsis, and I would like to spend the last few line of that assignment in order to discus its importance, and connected it with the verisimilitude, in the sense that in order the drama to be comprehended and loved from the spectators, and make them think and learn from its good morals, it has not only to be believable but also to make them feel. And that is evident that the work of art has o be in position of that unique quality, a truthfulness to nature would be sufficient enough to convey the concept of verisimilitude. Since the drama