Plato on Poetry: Ion; Republic 376e-398b9; Republic 595-608b10
OverviewPrior to publication of this 1996 book, much had been written on Plato as a critic of literature, but no commentaries had appeared in English on the Ion, or the opening books of the Republic in which Plato launches his famous attack on poetry, since the early years of this century. This volume brings together these texts and the relevant section of Republic 10. It aims to provide the reader with a commentary which takes account of modern scholarship on the subject, and which explores the ambivalence of Plato's pronouncements on poetry through an analysis of his own skill as a writer. A general introduction sets Plato's views in the wider context of attitudes to poetry in Greek society before his time, and indicates the main ways in which his writings on poetry have influenced the history of aesthetic thought in European culture.