A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce

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What is a detailed description of Stephen Dedalus's aesthetic theory?

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One of the most important events regarding Stephen's theory of aesthetics is when he explains it to his friend Lynch in Chapter 5. In this section, it is evident that he is still trying to get his theory straight in his own mind. There's a specific section of Chapter 5, from the point where Joyce writes, "They lit their cigarettes and turned to the right," through the end of that section, where he says: "Her heart, simple and wilful as a bird's heart." The section is about 12 pages long. In this section is where Stephen explains his theory to Lynch.

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jayadurgasomu | Student

Stephen supports his aesthetic theory or his theory of art and the artist's place in society with the classical teachings of aquinas, plato, and aristotle. Stephen delinates between the art that envokes an emotional or soulful response and the art that is purely physical. Stephen states that the emotional or the art that is involved in the mind or contemplation is the higher art, and the physical art is low art. He goes on to describe the process of art, like a creation, comparing it to when God created man. Stephen also suggests that the artist actually becomes part of the art he creates. In the end he states that he must alienate himself from Ireland or society to become an artist, suggesting that artists need to isolation.

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nedsneebly | Student

Stephen supports his aesthetic theory or his theory of art and the artist's place in society with the classical teachings of aquinas, plato, and aristotle. Stephen delinates between the art that envokes an emotional or soulful response and the art that is purely physical. Stephen states that the emotional or the art that is involved in the mind or contemplation is the higher art, and the physical art is low art. He goes on to describe the process of art, like a creation, comparing it to when God created man. Stephen also suggests that the artist actually becomes part of the art he creates. In the end he states that he must alienate himself from Ireland or society to become an artist, suggesting that artists need to isolation.

check Approved by eNotes Editorial