What is the most significant in difference between the views of Plato and Aristotle on poetry as seen in Plato's Republic X, Aristotle's Poetics?
Both Aristotle's Poetics and Plato's Republic X address the question of the nature of poetry and its affect on its audience, taking audience as both the individual citizen and the polis as a whole. Both authors describe poetry as a form of verbal mimesis and distinguish tragedy and comedy as operating through pure mimesis from epic, which uses a mixture of diegesis and mimesis. The main difference is their attitudes towards poetry with Plato opposed to poetry on the grounds of its ontological status and Aristotle giving it qualified approval on ethical and political grounds. Plato opposes poetry because he considers it an imitation of the sensibilia which in turn are imitations of the forms. He also feels that the audience will imitate the violent and immoral acts found in much traditional epic. Aristotle sees poetry as useful in training the emotions, and providing examples of what to avoid as well as what to imitate.
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