The Theatre of the Greeks: A Series of Papers Relating to the History and Criticism of the Greek Drama. With an Original Introduction and Notes

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Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, 1849 - Greek drama - 446 pages

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Page 325 - Between the acting of a dreadful thing And the first motion, all the interim is Like a phantasma, or a hideous dream : The genius, and the mortal instruments, Are then in council; and the state of man, Like to a little kingdom, suffers then The nature of an insurrection.
Page 10 - For Tragedy is an imitation, not of men, but of an action and of life, and life consists in action, and its end is a mode of action, not a quality. Now character determines men's qualities, but it is by their actions that they are happy or the reverse.
Page 17 - ... compassion. Neither should the contrary change, from adversity to prosperity, be exhibited in a vicious character: this, of all plans, is the most opposite to the genius of tragedy, having no one property that it ought to have; for it is neither gratifying in a moral view, nor affecting, nor terrible. Nor, again, should the fall of a very bad man from prosperous to adverse fortune be represented : because, though such a subject may be pleasing from its moral tendency, it will produce neither...
Page 12 - A whole is that which has a beginning, a middle, and an end. A beginning is that which does not itself follow anything by causal necessity, but after which something naturally is or comes to be. An end, on the contrary, is that which itself naturally follows some other thing, either by necessity or as a rule, but has nothing following it. A middle is that which follows something...
Page 27 - Metaphor consists in giving the thing a name that belongs to something else; the transference being either from genus to species, or from species to genus, or from species to species, or on grounds of analogy.
Page 12 - Again: whatever is beautiful, whether it be an animal or any other thing composed of different parts, must not only have those parts arranged in a certain manner, but must also be of a certain magnitude; for beauty consists in magnitude and order. Hence it is that no very minute animal can be beautiful ; the eye comprehends the whole too instantaneously to distinguish and compare the parts : — neither, on the contrary, can one of a prodigious size be beautiful; because, as all its parts cannot...
Page 15 - Oedipus, the messenger, meaning to make Oedipus happy, and to relieve him from the dread he was under with respect to his mother, by making known to him his real birth, produces an effect directly contrary to his intention. Thus also in the tragedy of Lynceus...
Page 32 - Homer's genius is apparent — that he did not attempt to bring the whole war, though an entire action with beginning and end, into his poem. It would have been too vast an object, and not easily comprehended in one view; or had he forced it into a moderate compass, it would have been perplexed by its variety.
Page 35 - ... 1. The poet, being an imitator, like the painter or any other artist of that kind, must necessarily, when he imitates, have in view one of these three objects : he must represent things, such as they were, or are ; or such as they are said to be, and believed to be ; or such as they should be. 2.
Page 8 - COMEDY, as was said before, is an imitation of bad characters; bad, not with respect to every sort of vice, but to the RIDICULOUS only, as being a species of turpitude or deformity ; since it may be defined to be — a fault or deformity of such a sort as is neither painful nor destructive. A ridiculous face, for example, is something ugly and distorted, but not so as to cause pain.

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