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Word Count: 1,062
Platos three main objections to poetry are that poetry is not ethical philosophical or pragmatic It is not ethical because it promotes undesirable passions it is not philosophical because it does not provide true knowledge and it is not pragmatic because it is inferior to the practical arts and therefore has no educational value Plato then makes a challenge to poets to defend themselves against his criticisms Ironically it was Platos most famous student Aristotle who was the first theorist to defend literature and poetry in his writing Poetics Throughout the Republic Plato condemns art in all forms including literature or poetry Despite the fact that he wrote Plato advocates the spoken word over the written word He ranks imitation mimetic representation on a lower plane than narrative even though his own works read like scripts the Republic is written in dialogue form with characters doing all the talking It appears as though his reasoning is that imitation of reality is not in itself bad but imitation without understanding and reason is Plato felt that poetry like all forms of art appeals to the inferior part of the soul the irrational emotional cowardly part The reader of poetry is seduced into feeling undesirable emotions To Plato an appreciation of poetry is incompatible with an appreciation of reason justice and the search for Truth To him drama is the most dangerous form of literature because the author is imitating things that heshe is not Plato seemingly feels that no words are strong enough to condemn drama Plato felt that all the worlds evils derived from one source a faulty understanding of reality Miscommunication confusion and ignorance were facets of a corrupted comprehension of what Plato always strived for - Truth Plato is above all a moralist His primary objective in the Republic is to come up with the most righteous intelligent way to live ones life and to convince others to live this way Everything else
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