An Essay on the Writings and Genius of Shakespear Compared with the Greek and French Dramatic Poets: With Some Remarks Upon the Misrepresentations of Mons. de Voltaire
H. Hughs, 1772 - 288 pages
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It is as a moral philosopher , not as the mere connoisseur in a polite art , that Arifa
totle gives the preference , above all other modes of poetic imitation , to Tragedy ,
as capable to purge the passions , by the means of pity and terror * .
An epic Poem is too abstruse for the people ; the moral is too much enveloped ,
the language too elevated for their apprehension ; nor have they leisure , or
application , to trace the consequences of ill - governed passions , or erroneous ...
... or Sarpedon , could have produced an equal effect on any reader of the Iliad ;
such enthusiasm is to be caught only from the Stage , and is the effect alone of
strong - working sympathy , and passions agitated by the peculiar force and
sympathy , and its effect on the spectator depends on such a justness of imitation
, as Thall cause , to a certain degree , the same passions and affections , as if
what was exhibited was real . We have observed narrative imitation to be too faint
Our pity is then attendant on the passion of the unhappy person , and on his own
sense of his misfortunes . From description , from the report of a Spectator , we
may make fome conjecture of his internal state of mind , and so far we shall be ...
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - JamesBoswell - LibraryThing
The admirers of this Essay may be offended at the slighting manner in which Johnson spoke of it; but let it be remembered, that he gave his honest opinion unbiassed by any prejudice, or any proud ... Read full review