The Theatre of the Greeks: A Series of Papers Relating to the History and Criticism of the Greek Drama

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Pitt Press, 1836 - 598 pages

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Page 479 - I have not slept. Between the acting of a dreadful thing And the first motion, all the interim is Like a phantasma or a hideous dream : The genius and the mortal instruments Are then in council ; and the state of a man, Like to a little kingdom, suffers then The nature of an insurrection.
Page 162 - For Tragedy is an imitation, not of men, but of an action and of life, and life consists in action, and its end is a mode of action, not a quality. Now character determines men's qualities, but it is by their actions that they are happy or the reverse.
Page 164 - A whole is that which has a beginning, a middle, and an end. A beginning is that which does not itself follow anything by causal necessity, but after which something naturally is or comes to be. An end, on the contrary, is that which itself naturally follows some other thing, either by necessity or as a rule, but has nothing following it. A middle is that which follows something...
Page 180 - Metaphor consists in giving the thing a name that belongs to something else; the transference being either from genus to species, or from species to genus, or from species to species, or on grounds of analogy.
Page 156 - But as the objects of imitation are the actions of men, and these men must of necessity be either good or bad (for on this does character principally depend; the manners being, in all men, most strongly marked by virtue and vice), it follows that we can only represent men either as better than they actually are, or worse, or exactly as they are...
Page 160 - ... and saltatorial genius of the poem at that time ; but when the dialogue was formed, nature itself pointed out the proper metre. For the iambic is, of all metres, the most colloquial ; as appears evidently from this fact, that our common conversation frequently falls into iambic verse ; seldom into hexameter, and only when we depart from the usual melody of speech.
Page 189 - In order to judge whether what is said or done by any character be well or ill, we are not to consider that speech or action alone, whether in itself it be good or bad, but also by whom it is spoken or done, to whom, at what time, in what manner, or for what end whether, for instance, in order to obtain some greater good or to avoid some greater evil. V For the solution of some objections we must have recourse to the diction. For example: ovpfjas pev Trpajrov . . . ' On mules and dogs the infection...
Page 167 - Oedipus, the messenger, meaning to make Oedipus happy, and to relieve him from the dread he was under with respect to his mother, by making known to him his real birth, produces an effect directly contrary to his intention. Thus also in the tragedy of Lynceus...
Page 186 - The surprising is necessary in Tragedy ; but the Epic Poem goes farther, and admits even the improbable and incredible, from which the highest degree of the surprising results, because there the action is not seen.
Page 169 - ... compassion. Neither should the contrary change from adversity to prosperity be exhibited in a vicious character: this, of all plans, is the most opposite to the genius of Tragedy, having no one property that it ought to have; for it is neither gratifying, in a moral view, nor affecting nor terrible. Nor, again, should the fall of a very bad man from prosperous to adverse fortune be represented ; because, though such a subject may be pleasing from its moral tendency, it will produce neither pity...

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