In Sidney's A Defense on Poesy, poetry is an art of imitation. Granted, Sidney's definition does imply poetry serving as a mirror to a reality, and to imitate is to replicate something in closest form, in mimesis. To simply strike the possibility of poetry stemming from any sort of reality would be an exaggeration of sorts, for poetry is an art
and art is an expression of the human imagination influenced by the world. Therefore, the art of representation cannot be too far removed from the truth, the reality in which the poet exists, especially in Keats' poem, Ode On a Grecian Urn, when he speaks of beauty equating truth in the line, Truth is beauty, Beauty truth.
For this discussion, essential Beauty will be considered as interchangeable with universal Truth. The truth about Keats' Grecian Urn is that there is no singular, universal truth. If there is one, then it only exists within the parameters of the poem, which will be illustrated through the theories of David Hume. Truth is beauty, beauty truth means that a universal beauty or truth exists when constructed in a relative sensibility. The truth is interpreted as being a certain reality that can be relied upon as factual. To say that truth is beauty, and beauty truth is to claim that beauty can be unanimously agreed upon.
Does Keat's poem, Ode On a a Grecian Urn speak the ultimate truth, or is he simply projecting his opinion through the urn? The former implies that Keats supports the belief of universal beauty, applicable to the reader's reality. The latter defines truth as being spoken by an intellectually anthropomorphized urn, and hence is within the context of fiction. In the Republic, Plato states that poetry is an art of representation [that is] a long way removed from the truth. This extends into the idea that fiction can allow beauty to exist within its parameters. For example, in Oscar Wilde's Portrait of Dorian Gray, the characters are to believe that Dorian Gray is a man of unquestionable beauty.
[...] The truth about Keats' Grecian Urn is that there is no singular, universal truth. If there is one, then it only exists within the parameters of the poem, which will be illustrated through the theories of David Hume. Truth is beauty, beauty truth means that a universal beauty or truth exists when constructed in a relative sensibility. The truth is interpreted as being a certain reality that can be relied upon as factual. To say that truth is beauty, and beauty truth is to claim that beauty can be unanimously agreed upon. [...]
[...] www.oboolo.com Aquines 5 Works Cited Currie, Gregory. “What is Fiction?” Journal of Aesthetics and Arts Criticism pp. 385-392. Hume, David. Of the Standard of Taste. Indianapolis: Bobbs Merrill pp. 3-24. Kant, Immanuel. Critique of Judgment. Werner S. Pluhard, Indianapolis Lewis, David. “Truth in Fiction,” Philosophical Papers, Vol I. [...]
[...] The concept of beauty as a subjective view is reinforced by Kant's belief that there is objective rule of taste” (Kant 79). In his Critique of Judgment, Kant goes on to say that free beauty lacks a “purposiveness,” and consequently also lacks an “ideal of perfection,” (Kant 71). This ideal of perfection is required to be the ideal aesthetic. Therefore, since there is only opinions of beauty, no true ideal supremacy of beauty can exist, only subjective positions. Granted, Hume www.oboolo.com Aquines 3 argues that although there can be a collective agreement on the distinction between good and bad taste, it is in the particulars of aesthetic judgment concerned that give rise to dissensions. [...]
[...] In conclusion, the truth about Keats' Grecian Urn is that there is, in fact, no truth, in reality, if we do not consider the post-modernist theory of non-reality. Instead, the reality that exists is make-believe. The reader is to make-believe that the mimetic world of the urn is a mirror that reflects the truth in reality. Hume's Kantian theory does not allow for one, singular truth to exist, and therefore, no universal beauty either. It is fiction's responsibility of make-believe that allows a reader to realize the concept of universal beauty. [...]
[...] Oxford: Oxford University Press pp. 261-275. Plato. The Republic. Trans. Desmond Lee. London, Penguin: 1955. First published 375 B.C. Plato. The Symposium. Sidney, Philip. A Defense of Poetry. [...]
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