Northrop Frye W.K. Wimsatt - Essay

W.K. Wimsatt

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

[Let me] begin my argument with Frye by quoting two authors in whose classic thought Frye finds several of his own starting points—Plato and Aristotle. Plato, in the Ion …, where the rhapsode is quizzed to the point of saying that a rhapsode (that is, a literary critic) will know the right things (ha prepei) for a man to say, the right things for a woman, for a slave, or for a freeman—but not what the slave, if he is a cowherd, ought to say to his cows, or what the woman, if she is a spinning-woman, ought to say about the working of wool. And Aristotle in chapter IX of the Poetics, where in general he says that poetry is more philosophic and of graver import than history, and in chapter XXV,...

(The entire section is 3356 words.)