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ANCIENT GREECE

In the theory of drama, as in many other areas of culture and knowledge, the beginning was laid by ancient Greece. The main document containing the systematic theory of drama is the work of Aristotle “On the Art of Poetry”. Aristotle was not the creator of the first theory of drama. Already before him, questions of dramatic art served as a subject of judgment, and Aristotle in this field, as in others, undoubtedly acted not only as an independent thinker, but also as a systematizer of knowledge achieved before him by ancient thought. However, it is necessary to state the sad fact of the disappearance of literary documents on the theory of drama, which undoubtedly existed before Aristotle. In some works of antiquity, there are references to statements on drama issues long before Aristotle. So, it is known that Sophocles wrote an essay "On the Choir." It is natural to assume that he set forth in him at least some of the rules that guided his dramatic art, and, in particular, substantiated the reform of the tragedy that he carried out, putting into effect the third actor and completing the transformation of the tragedy from a lyrical cantata into a drama . But the text of the treatise did not reach us, the authors of other Greek writings do not report on its content. Thanks to Aristotle, we know that playwrights argued about the general principles of artistic creativity, and Sophocles believed that the task of art was to depict "people as they should be", and Euripides sought to show them "as they are." If we take into account the nature of each of them, then, apparently, the dispute of playwrights reflected the struggle of the two artistic trends that they represented. Both of them proceeded from the fact that art should express the vital truth, but the very understanding of the truth in art was different. Sophocles did not require the obligatory connection of truth with credibility. His tragedies contain the high degree of poetic and artistic generalization of life phenomena that are not associated with the truth of everyday life. In Euripides, as is well known, the tendency of art to approach everyday life, which is directly familiar to the public, prevailed. For the history of artistic thought, the comedy of Aristophanes “Frogs” is invaluable. The great master of comedy devoted a significant part of this work to the issues of dramatic art. Condemning the drama of Euripides, he opposed him as a model of the tragic poet Aeschylus. The comedy depicts a dispute between Aeschylus and Euripides, who appeared in the afterlife to the court of Dionysus, before whom each of the playwrights expresses his view of the tragedy, at the same time criticizing the artistic system of his opponent. Despite the comedic exaggerations inherent in Aristophanes, he nevertheless quite correctly presented the difference between the two creative systems of drama. Euripides believes that the old drama was too static. The actors in it are “tragic dolls”, “they all gathered water in the mouth”. The choir takes too much space. In contrast to the lyricism of the old tragedy, Euripides approved the principle of lively dramatic action — And after the first words everyone already acted in the drama, And both the woman and the maiden spoke to me, and the lord, as well as the slave, the old woman ... he saved the drama from Aeschylus' high esteem, and, most importantly, brought it closer to everyday reality: I brought our lives, customs, and habits into drama.

"Poetics" is the first work that has come down to us, containing the theory of dramatic art in ancient Greece. "Poetics" has remained incomplete. The text known to us contains an analysis of the tragedy and the epos, but there is no detailed consideration of the comedy, although at the beginning of his work Aristotle says that he will "speak both about poetic art in general and in its individual forms." Obviously, only the first part of “Poetics” has reached us, whereas the testimony of ancient authors, in particular Diogenes of Laertes, indicate that in its completed form, Aristotle's treatise contained two, and maybe even three parts. “Poetics” is not a complete literary work, but, apparently, a recording of lectures by the philosopher. There are gaps in it. On the other hand, in the treatise there are also inserts, made, in all likelihood, by later authors — commentators or scribes — who, at their own risk and fear, supplemented what seemed unclear to them. But even in such a far from perfect form, Aristotle's Poetics is a document of absolutely invaluable value. She played a crucial role in the history of art and artistic thought. This is the first systematic treatise on art in general, on poetry and drama in particular. Many concepts of art, which became generally accepted, were first formulated by Aristotle. Aristotle's treatise is connected with the whole system of his philosophy. It constitutes, as it were, a part of that single universal teaching, which Aristotle developed during his activity. The approach to art manifests the principles of scientific analysis inherent in the philosophical system of Aristotle as a whole. Aristotle usually sought to cover all aspects of the phenomenon under consideration, to establish clear definitions and set out the material in a strict system. This is noticeable in this treatise. Despite the incompleteness of the text that has come down to us, “Poetics” contains a harmonious, philosophically substantiated exposition of the laws of artistic creation. It should be noted two trends approach to the "Poetics". The first dominated in Europe from the Renaissance to romanticism. "Poetics" was then considered the code of unshakable eternal laws of literature. However, it was interpreted in accordance with the artistic aspirations of this direction. This was most clearly manifested in the 17th century at the time of the establishment of classicism. Starting from the Romantic era, a desire arose to interpret “Poetics” as a theory relating to a quite specific era of artistic development and, therefore, not having the “indisputable value that was attributed to it by the classicists. Historism in the interpretation of Aristotle helped to separate the true meaning of his treatise from the principles attributed to the ancient thinker by his commentators in the 16th — 18th centuries, the positivist science of the second half of the 19th century was the most successful in its connection with other arts.



Drama - the phenomenon of a later stage. The theater supplanted the art of the rhapsodus and choral lyrics. Although Aristotle was a student of Plato, they are both people from different eras and different ideological concepts. Plato is still associated with the traditions of the ancient polis, with its heroic and civic spirit. Aristotle is the son of another time. He is a thinker of an era in which democracy finally fell and was replaced by a monarchical state. Ideally, the ancient notions of justice are close to him, but in practice his social philosophy and ethics, as well as aesthetics are different than those of Plato. This is an imitation question. As you know, Plato saw the main defect of art in that it is a reflection - and, moreover, third-rate - of the essence of things. Unlike Plato, Aristotle sees the main advantage of art in that it reflects the real world. The materialistic elements of the philosophy of Aristotle clearly appear in the "Poetics", a number of provisions of which are polemically sharpened against the idealism of Plato. The concept of imitation (mimesis) in later times received a naturalistic interpretation. It was comprehended as a direct reproduction of real objects and phenomena. Meanwhile, in Aristotle and in the ancients in general, the concept of mimesis was by no means reduced to naturalistic copying of reality, not only in poetry, but even in the plastic arts, in particular in sculpture. The imitation of Aristotle implies the reproduction of not the whole objective world, but only of man. Nature still does not have an independent aesthetic value in ancient art. It is not the subject of purely artistic pleasure ..

 Poetics absorbed all the achievements of previous theoretical thought. Although we know little about the theory of drama before Aristotle, but comparing his treatise with other writings, we can reasonably assert that in the theory of art, as in other fields of knowledge, Aristotle relied on the richest fund of knowledge created and accumulated by culture ancient Greece. But he not only systematized the achievements of predecessors. Aristotle was a deeply independent thinker, and this quality was manifested in “Poetics”. Using the same concepts that Plato used before him, Aristotle interpreted them in a new way. This is especially true in the general definition of art. Aristotle’s imitation has not only cognitive significance. As he writes, “imitation products for all are a pleasure” - the pleasure of an aesthetic order. In an explanation of his thought, Aristotle gives an example: “what is unpleasant to look at, images with pleasure we consider with pleasure, such as, for example, images of disgusting animals and corpses”. In this case, perhaps a pleasure of two kinds. It consists in the fact that, seeing the image, people learn and reason about the nature of the subject. We stopped at this general position of Aristotle's aesthetics, because it is of direct importance for drama and serves as a definition of the aesthetic impact of dramatic art. The theory of the drama of Aristotle is based on the fact that this art, like others, is an imitation, or, as we now say, a reflection of reality. The fidelity of the image of reality is, therefore, one of the first conditions of aesthetic pleasure delivered by the drama. The concept of imitation in Aristotle does not make sense to mechanically copy reality. The word used by Aristotle, “mimesis”, is wider than our notion of “imitate”. It includes the ability to learn, understand and is one of the essential abilities of a person. "Imitation is inherent in people from childhood, and they are so different from other animals that they are most capable of imitation, thanks to which they acquire the first knowledge." From the whole context of "Poetics" it follows that Aristotle understood imitation as the creative reproduction of reality. He is both the general law of art and the law that determines the relation of a dramatic work to reality. Drama, like other forms of art, does not copy reality, but reproduces it in accordance with a certain understanding of life. Using the concept of "history", Aristotle implies an accurate statement of the events that really happened. He does not mean the history, understood by us as a science, comprehending the causes, nature and regularity of the events that happened. For him, history is only a mechanical record of what happened. As you know, the arsenal of all ancient Greek art was mythology. In those times when religion, myths, cult and art were an inseparable unity, such free treatment of myths was impossible. Although the elements of the cult were still very significant in the ancient drama of the period of its classical heyday, however, as we know, there was a gradual liberation of art from religious worship. Art gained ever greater ideological independence from previous beliefs, which, in particular, could be seen in the opposition of Euripides Aeshil's dramas, which we find in Aristophanes in the comedy “Frog”. That is why Aristotle, for whom poetry is “philosophical,” and not religious, could postulate that “one should not necessarily strive to keep to the myths conveyed by tradition, in whose circle tragedies lie.” In general, it must be emphasized that Aristotle’s view of drama is free from religious and cult traditions. It is impossible not to remember the fact that he wrote after the classical drama of antiquity had completed its circle of development. Aristotle is a contemporary of a later era, the social and cultural conditions of which differed from the golden age of the ancient classics. The era of ancient democracy was left behind. Religious and moral views on life that are peculiar to it also died out. He is a free-thinking philosopher who, in his quest for truth, is not bound by traditional views. This is particularly evident in the following. A common opinion is that the classical antique tragedy, depicting various conflicts, was based on the concepts of rock, which determined the fate of people. No matter how many times we re-read Aristotle's Poetics, we will not find a word about it in it. The will of the gods, manifested in fate or fate, is absent in the Aristotelian analysis of the tragedy. The science of antiquity in the past wrongfully emphasized the importance of rock in the ancient Greek tragedy. It seems that we will achieve a more complete and comprehensive understanding of the great tragic art of antiquity, if we broaden the ideological framework that determined the development of classical drama. Not so much the problem of§ 4. Aristotle. Tragedy and its main elements

Central to the "Poetics" is an analysis of the tragedy. Fourteen chapters of the treatise are devoted to the characterization of this genre (VI-XIX). Tragedy is a serious art. The works of this type - "more significant and in greater honor" than comedy. Tragedy is for Aristotle the highest form of poetry. Greater clarity and concentration of action gives tragedy advantages that epic poetry does not possess. Like Plato, Aristotle does not distinguish between the concepts of tragedy and the tragic. Therefore, throughout the entire “Poetics”, he puts in a single epic, depicting tragic events, and tragedy. In narrative poetry, that is, in an epic, “as in tragedies, the plots must be dramatic”. The epic and the tragedy are presented to Aristotle as species serious in poetry. Tragedy is the highest form of poetry both in relation to comedy, and in relation to the epic; tragedy has artistic elements that are not in the epic. The first tragedians still followed the principles of the epic construction of the drama; they took plots that did not fit into one work, represented on the same day, from which dramatic trilogies took place, consisting of three plays, events and heroes of which were linked. In the further development of the drama, the narrative framework became narrower. For Aristotle, such a plot is already the norm, which fits into one drama and does not require a whole series of tragedies. Aristotle distinguishes between three means of imitation: rhythm, word and harmony, which are used separately or together. Musical arts enjoy harmony and rhythm. Choreographic art uses only rhythm, it "reproduces characters, mental states and actions through expressive rhythmic movements." Poetry uses word, rhythm, melody and size. Here Aristotle has in mind the features of the poetic creativity of antiquity, which was not only rhythmic, but also combined with music. Poetry, including drama, is the highest of the arts, as it uses all methods of imitation: rhythm, melody and meter. Who exactly Aristotle implies is unclear. Perhaps Arina, Fespida, Frinich, but hardly Aeschylus In Chapter IV of "Poetics" Aristotle traces the origin and development of the drama. He does this, however, only briefly, pointing out the most basic milestones: the emergence of tragedies and comedies from chants with the gradual release of one, then two, and finally three actors from the choir. He refuses to consider the development of drama composition, “since it would take too long to describe everything in detail,” Aristotle considers tragedy mainly in the form that it reached during its heyday.



Aristotle. Six Parts of the Tragedy
The tragedy for Aristotle is not only the highest form of poetry, but also the quintessence of dramatic art. In light of this, the position of Aristotle that each tragedy consists of six parts should be considered. “Parts are the essence: the plot, characters, rationality, stage setting, verbal expression and musical composition. The meaning of these parts is unequal. Aristotle himself distinguishes them as follows. Three parts relate to the “subject” of imitation, and two - to the “means of imitation”. The subject or object of imitation is the plot, characters, rationality (thoughts). Verbal expression and musical composition refer to the means of imitation. Finally, the stage setting should be considered a “mode” of performance. The subject or object of imitation forms the basis of a dramatic work. In other words, the core of the drama is its content, embodied in the plot, characters and thoughts of this work. “Most modern viewers are likely to agree with Aristotle; an entertaining story with mediocre characters will be successful, while a play with an uninteresting story will fail, no matter how well the characters are outlined. ” In subsequent times, as you know, the image of the characters was recognized as the most important task of the drama. Aristotle, on the other hand, believed that "without action there could not have been tragedy, but without characters there could have been." Aristotle puts the question with extreme sharpness: what is more important - the plot or characters. His answer is unequivocal. He prefers the plot. The hardest thing in drama is making a story line. Aristotle notes that "beginners write first in the syllable and in the image of the characters, rather than in a combination of actions."

As already mentioned, the plot Aristotle attached paramount importance in the drama. Characters he took second place among the parts of the drama, believing that the characters themselves are determined by the action: the poets "deduce the actors not to depict their characters, but thanks to these actions they also capture the characters" (VI, 1450a, 58-59) . What is character? Character lies in the fact that the actor, in his speeches or actions, reveals some direction of his will. “This character will be noble if it reveals a noble direction of will” (xv, 1454a, 87). This is followed by a reasoning characterizing Aristotle’s class positions and reflecting the notions of personal value typical of slaveholding society. Saying that a noble character manifests a noble direction of will, Aristotle remarks: “It can be in every person, and a woman can be noble, and a slave, although maybe the first is the lowest being, and the second is insignificant” ( XV, 1454a, 88). From this it is clear that, although Aristotle admits, as an exception, the nobility of creatures lower socially and morally, but his whole argument about the characters applies to persons who are full representatives of the slave-owning society. Depicting characters, the poet must follow certain rules. It is necessary that “the characters were suitable: for example, one can imagine the character as courageous, but it does not suit a woman to be courageous or formidable” (XV, 1454a, 88). It is necessary “that the character be believable” (xv, 1454a, 88). And finally, "so that he was consistent" (xv, 1454a, 88). Aristotle admits that a person who is inconsistent can be inferred, but only if this inconsistency is precisely the character of the character (XV, 1454a, 88). A work of art must reveal the character of each person depicted, and this is manifested in his moral character. In the tragedy, the characters must be noble. This is necessary in order for it to have the proper emotional effect - it aroused fear and compassion. If the tragedy depicts bad people, then it will not produce the proper emotional effect. In the drama, “a completely worthless person should not fall from happiness into misfortune, since such a confluence [of events] would arouse humanity, but not compassion and fear”

Fear and compassion

We now turn to the question of "Poetics", which caused the most heated debates. This, as is known, is a question of purification (catharsis). Recall the context in which this concept is given in "Poetics". Aristotle writes: “The tragedy is an imitation of an action that is important and complete, having a certain volume, imitation by means of speech, in each of its parts is decorated in different ways; by means of action, not story, by purification of similar effects through compassion and fear ”(VI, 1449c, 56). The concepts of fear and compassion characterize the emotional impact of tragedy.



Fear is caused by the understanding of certain life circumstances, the consciousness of imminent danger. Invisible evil is not scary. Listing the reasons causing a feeling of fear, Aristotle stops the attention by no means on those that can cause physical suffering. About the fear of death, he writes: “After all, everyone knows that they will die, but death is not close, because they do not think about it” (“Rhetoric”, II, 5). The terrible, as Aristotle characterizes him, has a foundation in the social being of man. Aristotle comes to the conclusion: “It’s terrible that when we happen to someone else or threaten another, arouses compassion in us” (Rhetoric, II, 5). This position of Aristotle is connected with his general concept of man as a social being, feeling his similarity and closeness to others, sharing the fate of other people. At the same time, the feeling of fear in the eyes of the ancient thinker has a certain social and pedagogical function. Fear, writes Aristotle in "Rhetoric", leads a person to activity. “Therefore, it is necessary to make such people when it seems more useful that they are afraid”; it is necessary to prove to them that they are subject to suffering, that other people, more powerful than them, have suffered. It is necessary to show that people like them suffer or have suffered, and, moreover, from those who have not been worried, and when they have not worried (Rhetoric, II, 5). Aristotle's reasoning clearly shows that the image of suffering in a tragedy, causing a feeling of fear in the viewer, teaches him a deeper understanding of life and, prompting him to work, brings up resilience to the misfortunes that can befall him. The concept of compassion Aristotle reveals in a similar vein. “Compassion will be some kind of pain [sorrow] at the sight of evil, destructive or painful, which befalls the innocent and can happen to us or to someone of ours. Obviously, such a person is capable of compassion, who believes that either he himself or someone close to him may undergo some kind of misfortune ... Therefore neither the completely lost ones sympathize: they suppose that they have nothing more to suffer, they have already suffered! - neither those who imagine themselves on the top of happiness: such people do not sympathize, on the contrary, they offend ... ”(“ Rhetoric ”, II, 8). Having described various types of misfortunes, Aristotle proceeds to identify those who deserve compassion: “we sympathize when the terrible is close to us, we sympathize with those like us in years, in character, in relationships, in social position, in kind” (“Rhetoric”, II, 8). Aristotle emphasizes that compassion excites disasters committed in the time close to us. What happened over ten thousand years, does not cause such a feeling. But the theater can bring closer to the viewer the events that happened long ago: “... those who convey their [misfortunes] with conformable gestures, conformable voice, in conformable clothing, - generally through performing arts, especially excite compassion, because they bring trouble to us , they show it close, before our eyes, as having happened or happened ”(“ Rhetoric ”, II, 8). Lessing, who first pointed out the significance of certain places in “Rhetoric” for understanding the Aristotelian concept of fear and compassion, gave further development to this concept. The poet achieves the effect of fear and compassion when he portrays a hero, even if he has lived a long time ago, “... a man made of one test with us. Because of this, there is a fear that our fate will be just as easy to resemble his fate as we are like him, and this fear breeds compassion in us. ” The provisions of “Rhetoric” given here clarify and expand the understanding of fear and compassion, which Aristotle speaks about in “Poetics”.

Thus, we see that the concepts of fear and compassion have not only emotional meaning for Aristotle, but are associated with the social nature of man and his diverse relationships with others. However, Aristotle makes one significant clarification: fear is not equivalent to horror. As we will see later, in some subsequent interpreters of Aristotle, the notion of fear was replaced by the notion of horror, which significantly changed the whole concept of the tragic. In particular, this was the case at Corneille. In Aristotle, as Lessing explained, the concept of the tragic is not fear, but fear. Fear is an emotion that does not exclude the ability to reason and evaluate phenomena. That is why it opens the way to compassion. In contrast, horror suppresses both consciousness and all other senses. To illustrate this point, Aristotle gives such examples. When Anasiy saw that his son was being led to execution, everything in him was crushed by grief and horror. But when he saw his friend in poverty, begging, it caused a feeling of compassion, and Anasius began to cry. § 10. Aristotle. The problem of catharsis We now turn to the most obscure and controversial point in the Aristotelian definition of tragedy - the question of the purification of \ U (catharsis). Aristotle concluded his kurmulu, tragedy by pointing out that she “through compassion and fear" produces a "purification of such affects" (VI, 1449c, 56). The idea of ​​Aristotle in this place is not fully understood. Only the general meaning is clear ^ the tragedy produces a certain cleansing effect on the viewer, but how and in what way does it manifest itself, what is the essence of the purification ^ - this Aristotle did not reveal. From here a problem arose that for several centuries worried the theorists of art and literature in general and drama in particular. The question of cleansing gave rise to a vast literature containing various interpretations of this place "Poetics". The problem of catharsis is not only an abstract theoretical interest. The question of purification is a question of the effect produced by tragedy on the viewer. Ultimately, it boils down to deciding the effectiveness of the tragic art, and one does not have to say how important it is for the drama in practice. Disputes about the essence of catharsis began in the Renaissance, from the XVI century, when the first comments to the "Poetics" appeared. We do not need to trace all the vicissitudes of the controversy55. But the various points of view expressed by theorists are of interest in themselves. Regardless of the "Poetics" of Aristotle, they contain valuable judgments, reflecting different views on the nature of the tragedy. Since in the future we have to consider many other issues of the drama, we, breaking the chronology, will highlight these points of view here in order not to return to this issue any more. Different interpretations of catharsis are reduced to the following theories.

1. The ethical theory of catharsis arose in the Renaissance and was first formulated by the Italian Vincenzo Maggi in his comments on Aristotle’s Poetics (1550). In the footsteps of Maji, the French commentator of Aristotle Andre Dacier (1692), who believed that Aristotle should be understood in the following sense, followed. Tragedy excites compassion and fear in order to purify, to free a person from these feelings. She achieves this by portraying in front of us the misfortune into which people like us are thrown due to unintended mistakes. Tragedy introduces us to this misfortune and through this teaches "... not to be too afraid of him — and not to be too sad for grief if disaster really befalls us ... It prepares people to courageously endure the most disastrous cases and instills in unfortunate willingness to consider themselves happy, comparing their own misfortunes with the much more terrible, which tragedy depicts to us ”. Lessing in The Hamburg Drama develops the ethical concept of catharsis. His point of view is connected with the whole complex of educational aesthetics, which saw in art one of the most important types of education for a harmoniously developed person - a citizen. The author of The Hamburg Dramatic Art writes: “Tragic compassion must, not only in relation to compassion, purify the soul of one who feels strong compassion, but also one who feels it too weak. With regard to fear, the tragic fear must not only purify the soul of the one who is not afraid of any misfortune at all, but also of the one whom any misfortune, even the most distant, the most improbable, brings into fear. Equally, tragic compassion for fear and tragic fear for compassion should appear in moderation, not allowing surplus or deficiency. ” The essence of the catharsis is thus reduced, according to Lessing, to the fact that the tragedy turns "our compassion into virtue", purifying from the extremes of fear and compassion. This causes a feeling of fear. But he is followed by relief from the fact that he (the spectator) is still

3. The most common is currently the theory of Bernays, called medical. As Bernays showed, Aristotle used the concept of purification in the sense in which it was used in the ancient theory of healing mental illnesses. In the treatise Politika, Aristotle points out that music has a direct physiological effect on listeners. It excites people, bringing them to a state that the Greeks called enthusiastic. Let us turn to Aristotle himself. This is the place in “Politics”, on the basis of which Bernays established in what sense the term “purification” should be understood. “After all, affect, strongly acting on the psyche of some individuals, is essentially everything, and its action differs only in its intensity, for example, [everyone experiences] a state of pity, fear, and also enthusiasm. And some individuals who fall into it under the influence of religious chants are subject to enthusiastic excitement, when these chants act in an exciting way on the psyche and bring about healing and purification. The same, of course, is experienced by those who are prone to a state of pity and fear and in general any other kind of affect, since each such affect is peculiar to this individual. All such persons receive a kind of purification, that is, relief associated with pleasure. In the same way, the chants of a “cleansing character bring harmless joy to people.” Aristotle uses the concept of catharsis not in moral, and also not in religious, but in medical sense. a pleasant feeling to one who has been subjected to such an impact of art. The catharsis in tragedy is not identical with the catharsis in music. The tragic catharsis clears fear and compassion, whereas the catharsis produced by music, clears off enthusiastic excitement. The cleansing that Aristotle means, according to Els, takes place as the action unfolds as the plot unfolds. It is in this that the creative ability of the poet manifests itself in creating the plot containing catharsis. the impact of the tragedy, and "the process created by the poet through a composition of events."



Does it not follow from this that the viewer is completely excluded from the range of concepts associated with catharsis? Far from it. Tragedy undoubtedly arouses the emotional excitement of the audience But the emotions associated with tragedy contain an element of judgment. Observing the action of the most terrible tragedy - and this is a play depicting the murder of his closest relatives by a hero - the viewer must make two conclusions: (1) a hero is like him, and (2) he does not deserve his ill-fated fate. In each era, the representation of the genre acquires its own characteristics. For Aristotle, the sample of the tragedy was “King Oedipus”. This work is most consistent with his understanding of the genre. Note that when subsequently another great thinker, Hegel, will formulate his understanding of the tragedy, for him the model work of this genre will not be “Oedipus the King”, but “Antigone”. Thus, the inapplicability of a formula to all works of the genre is, from the point of view of history, a natural fact. The definition of a thinker or artist expresses his view of things and his aesthetic ideal. The ideal of the tragedy of Aristotle, it seems to us, is quite consistent with his philosophy. Ela did not notice this because he was more interested in structural and compositional issues than the vital meaning of the tragedies. Els's viewpoint can be called intellectualistic with much more reason than the theory of Gaupt mentioned above. Concluding consideration of the interpretations of catharsis by Aristotle, I would like to avoid extreme conclusions and one-sidedness. It seems to me that the main interpretations described here help to comprehend the different aspects of this concept. We cannot be absolutely sure which of the proposed explanations exactly corresponds to what Aristotle had in mind. Some skepticism is relevant in this matter. But this will not lead us to asserting complete ignorance of how to solve this problem. On the contrary, with good reason it should be said that the theoretical thought of many generations of Aristotle's commentators has opened up to us great depths of meaning hidden in “Poetics”. There is no doubt that the concept of catharsis in its original meaning merged with the religious ideas of antiquity. But by the time of the emergence of the classic tragedies of the V century BC. e. the understanding of purification should have been freed from a significant part of its religious meaning and gained a more general, vital basis. Therefore, Bernays’s medical theory brings us to the more realistic meaning of what purification could have been in the heyday of tragedy. However, as a model of the positivist theory, the concept of Bernays, meeting the requirements of common sense, can not fully satisfy. The amendments of subsequent commentators are correct to the extent that they bring together the cleansing of the complex of those psychological norms that are organically inherent in art. Although authors such as Butcher reject the moralizing interpretation of catharsis, nevertheless they cannot reject the moral content of purification. And this cannot but bring us back to Lessing. If his explanation was too ethical and moral, then still it is impossible to deny the rational elements of his concept. In short, the whole complex of psychological, moral and aesthetic issues raised by the interpretation of catharsis greatly enriched the philosophical understanding of the tragic among the ancient playwrights and Aristotle. The newest interpretation proposed by Els is true in the sense that it connects the issue of catharsis with living tissue of artistic creation. The number of judgments of this scholar undoubtedly enriches the understanding of purification as an element of the artistic structure of tragedies. But it would hardly be wise to abandon the valuable that was in the judgments of the old interpreters. Taken together, existing theories help see the wealth of ideas so succinctly expressed in “Poetics”.

§ 11. Aristotle. Comedy definition



Most of the "Poetics" is devoted to the analysis of the tragedy. About comedy, Aristotle promises to say "later" (VI), but in the text of the treatise that has come down to us there is no corresponding section. It is possible that he was in the part of the "Poetics" that was not preserved. In Poetics, however, there are a number of fragmentary remarks that shed light on the question of the understanding of comedy by Aristotle. Just as Aristotle associates tragedy with a serious epic, so he considers comedy in close connection with the epic comic. He speaks of "mocking songs" that "depicted the actions of unworthy people" (IV, 1448c, 50). Not separating the comic from the comedy, Aristotle calls Homer the author of the first comic epic “Margit” known to him. From this poem came only small excerpts. Its content, apparently, was reduced to the mockery of a certain fool who could neither work nor judge things correctly. There is one remark in the discussion of Margit, which is of great fundamental importance. Aristotle writes that Homer "first showed the basic form of comedy, giving a dramatic finish not ridicule, but ridiculous ..." (IV, 1448 c, 50). We have the right to interpret this in the sense that comedy depicts not particular cases, but also, like tragedy, gives a generalized image of reality. This is confirmed in Chapter IX of "Poetics", where Aristotle writes that poetry is more philosophical than history. The plot of the comedy, just like the plot of the tragedy, must be composed “according to the laws of probability.” The reception of giving the characters names with meaning, as is known, has been preserved until the present. Defining features of the content of a comedy, Aristotle writes: “Comedy ... is a reproduction of relatively worse people” (V, 1449a, 53), in contrast to the tragedy depicting noble characters. But just as tragic characters should not be absolutely virtuous, so comedy characters should not be bad “in the sense of total depravity” (V, 1449a, 53). Funny, according to Aristotle, is the "part" (or variety) of the ugly. This is “some mistake and disgrace that causes no one suffering and is not harmful for anyone” (V, 1449a, 53). The absence of suffering and destructiveness distinguishes comedy from tragedy. Aristotle implies here not only a physical disgrace, but also such moral qualities that contradict moral ideals. Inconsistency of character and behavior with accepted moral norms in society causes laughter if it is not associated with any serious damage to people. Lane Cooper, who carefully elaborated this question, argues that the general provisions, as well as various remarks about the tragedy, allow, by analogy and contrast, to formulate an understanding of the comedy that corresponds to the spirit of Aristotle’s Poetics. L. Cooper presented his conclusions in a systematic way.

  1. Since, according to Aristotle, each art form has a certain effect, comedy also has to produce a special kind of effect that is not like the cleansing in tragedy, that is, not associated with compassion and fear.

  2. 2. The impact of each type of art is connected with the pleasure of a special kind delivered by this particular type of art. Comedy, therefore, should also give a kind of pleasure or pleasure, but one cannot say whether there is only one manifestation of this pleasure or aesthetic pleasure delivered by comedy, has several forms.

  3. 3. The pleasure that comedy delivers will be aesthetic if it is achieved by artistic means. In other words, just as fear, injected by tragedy, is not a truly artistic means of tragedy, so in a comedy, not external excitement of laughter, but excitement based on a truly comic will correspond to the nature of this art form. Along with this norm is the perception of not every viewer, but a sensible viewer, and with natural feelings.

  4. 4. Comedy is an imitation of the actions of people in real life. The viewer must believe what is happening. The understanding of what is portrayed in essence corresponds to reality gives pleasure to this kind, which is inherent in every imitation. It satisfies the desire for knowledge. . The pleasure delivered by comedy is due to the fact that the defect that serves as the subject of the image is neither terrifying nor disastrous. The case is limited to an understanding of the discrepancies, disproportions of those or other traits of a person and a person’s behavior.

  5. 5. The delight delivered by the comedy is due to the fact that the defect that serves as the subject of the image is neither terrifying nor disastrous. The case is limited to understanding the discrepancies, the disproportions of those or other character traits and behavior

  6. 6. Comedy is a pleasure similar to what Odyssey produces, with the clarification that if everything ends well for Odyssey, then the end is unfavorable for the suitors of Penelope. In other words, comedy requires a happy outcome for all but the villains.

  7. 7. Comedy has a direct impact on the viewer or reader, and the pleasure they experience is manifested externally in laughter.

  8. 8. An additional means of the impact of a comedy (we emphasize that this is an antique comedy) is music.

  9. 9. Miraculous and fantastic are also possible in a comedy.

  10. Especially effective in the comedy of recognition, in particular the recognition of who in fact are certain individuals. Twists of fate also belong to the number of effective means of comedy. If in the tragedy the fate of the hero changes from best to worst, then in comedy, on the contrary, from worse to better. And if the turn of events is from the best to the worst, then there should be nothing serious or painful in this. P. Just as an event causes distress in a tragedy, so in a comedy there must be one or several incidents that make a cheerful impression and cause laughter.

  11. Finally, according to one remark of Aristotle in “Rhetoric” (I, 11), the reasons causing laughter should themselves be pleasant. These are the provisions relating to comedy and comic, which are either directly approved by Aristotle, or can be taken out of the context of his writings. There is, however, a question that defies an equally definite solution. This is the question of comic catharsis. More precisely, we should talk about whether there is something in the comedy that is equal in character and meaning to the effect that the tragedy has in the purification of compassion and fear? There is not a sufficiently strong basis for resolving this issue. We have to resort to conjectures and assumptions, based on the already known to us the provisions of "Poetics" and other works of the philosopher. Reasoning by analogy, we come to the following conclusion. If the tragedy, which excites compassion and fear, then clears them, then some other affects must be purified by means of comedy. Let us see which emotions Aristotle calls first. In Ethics, he writes: “I call passion, anger, fear, courage, envy, joy, friendship, hatred, desire, jealousy, regret, in one word - all that which pleasure or suffering accompanies.” These affects are natural to humans, but it doesn’t matter how or why they are. Aristotle's Ethics, II, 4, p. 28. 58 appear. “After all, they do not praise a person who is in fear, and do not unconditionally blaspheme the angry, but only in a certain way angry,” writes Aristotle. Any extreme, according to the philosopher, is reprehensible. But if some extremes, prompting a person to act, lead to tragedy, others are the source of the comic. What exactly affects could mean Aristotle? The continuity of ideas allows us to refer to Plato to clarify this issue. Speaking about comedy, Aristotle's teacher pointed out that “in comedies, our mental mood is also a mixture of sadness and pleasure.” It also speaks of the typically dramatic emotions - “sorrow, envy and anger”. Lane Cooper believes that in Aristotle's “Rhetoric” (II, 1), the analysis of envy and anger is in many respects similar to what Plato wrote about. According to him, envy and anger are "emotions that are almost always encountered in life, rarely anyone harbors anger against someone else, and the same applies to envy." Envy and anger, Cooper argues, are as interrelated as fear and compassion, and their purification, in its effect, is tantamount to purification, “which is accomplished by tragedy. As the researcher writes, “... if you make an angry and envious person laugh, then at least temporarily he will stop being angry and jealous. Here and so the comedy cleans envy and anger "10 °. In this case, it is not necessary that the comedy portrayed exactly evil and envious people. She can show anything funny at all. In other words, if tragedy heals fear and compassion by the depiction of such affects, then comedy does not necessarily depict precisely affects that need purification, but it can also show something completely different.

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