The Defence of Poesy
Discuss the relationship of teaching (docere), delighting (delectare) and moving (movere) in 'The Defence of Poesy'.
'Poesy, therefore, is an art of imitation, for so Aristotle termeth it in the word mimesis, that is to say, a representing, counterfeiting or figuring forth - to speak metaphorically, a speaking picture - with this end: to teach and delight'.
Discuss the relationship of teaching (docere), delighting (delectare) and moving (movere) in the Defence.
Stephan Gosson's Puritan attack on poetry, and the source from which he derived a number of his complaints, Plato's Republic (X), in which Socrates banishes poetry from his idealised state, were joint forces in prompting Sir Philip Sidney's Defence of the art. Responding primarily to Plato's suggestion of fiction's morally corrupt influence on its readers (specifically incorporated into Gosson's The School of Abuse), Sidney employs a style that fuses the rhetorical and polemical with an almost conversational friendliness in order to present his argument in a persuasive manner.
Sidney's various assertions centre on poetry's positive force for inspiring its readers not, as Plato contested, towards 'sinful things', but instead towards virtuous action, through following the traditional tripartite aim of rhetoric; to teach (docere), delight...
Join Now to View Premium Content
GradeSaver provides access to 893 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 7018 literature essays, 1932 sample college application essays, 289 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.
Already a member? Log in