Please define Longinus' concept of sublimity as stated in On the Sublime.

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Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Longinus equates sublimity with elevation of the soul and attributes the presence of elevation to five sources, further asserting that the sublime elevates the audience's souls and originates in the poet's soul because of an innate ability in, or inherent capacity for, sublimity. Longinus depicts the circumstance of the sublime as an avenue that originates with innate qualities of soul in the poet and imbues the poetry with sublimity that the audience hears to the affect of being elevated with sublimity of their own.
The sublime is synonymous with elevation, which is defined as nobleness, grandeur and loftiness of thought and feeling, and dignity.

The five sources of the sublime (of elevation) are from the innate inner qualities of the poet as well as the well-honed skill of the poet. The sources from within are an inspired passion and grandeur and loftiness of thought. The sources of skill are masterful use of rhetorical elements; dignified, noble diction, which encompasses phrasing; and inspiring poetic structure. By this, it is seen that Longinus depicts the poet as the most skilled in language structuring and the most elevated in thought and feeling. Longinus had a welcomed reception among Elizabethans after the rediscovery and printed edition of his work in 1554 and a later equally warm reception among the Romantics.