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
Ariftotle 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 * .
The object ...
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 erro - '
... 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 fympathy ,
and passions agitated by the peculiar force and activity of the dramatic manner .
We have observed narrative imitation to be too faint and feeble a means to excite
passion : declamation , still worse , plays idly on the surface of the subject , and
makes the Poet , who should be concealed in the action , visible to the fpectator .
Our pity is then attendant on the passion of the unhappy perfon , and on his own
sense of his misfortunes . From description , from the report of a Spectator , we
may make some 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