Aesthetics – Plato, Aristotle: Theory of Art

1. Both Plato and Aristotle develop concepts of poetry as mimesis (or imitation, representation). Briefly discuss their concepts of imitation, as well as what you take to be the most significant area or areas of contrast.
2. Choose an individual work of art. Analyze the work applying aspects of Plato’s theory of art, Aristotle’s theory of art, or some combination of the two. “Applying” is broadly construed. You may work against as well as with a theory. Options include: using Plato’s concept of imitation to discuss how a work distorts or enhances our understanding of justice or the good life; discussing how an individual plot conforms to or diverges from Aristotle’s rules for plot construction; utilizing Aristotle’s practice of definition to delineate the “nature” of a genre of literature or visual art.

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