How does Sir Philip Sidney's An Apology for Poetry relate to Aristotle and Plato?
What are the main points of Sir Philip Sidney's An Apology for Poetry and how does it relate to Artistotle and Plato?
(the answer below addresses the 2 questions about Aristotle and Plato)
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Sir Philip Sidney’s “An Apology for Poetry” was influenced directly by both Aristotle and Plato.
The works of Aristotle that most strongly influenced Sidney were the Poetics and Nicomachean Ethics, both of which were well known and respected in the Renaissance. The main point of influence was the notion of poetry as moral education through vivid embodiment of characters in a way that let viewers develop morally by experiencing vicarious situations and undergoing some form of catharsis.
The Platonic influence is actually neo-Platonic. It follows a medieval tradition (deriving from the earlier work of Plotinus and Proclus) that the poet directly imitates the forms and thus can help the reader understand the noumena underlying the phenomena.
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