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    'Pleasure' and 'instruction' as ends of literature

    'Pleasure' and 'instruction' as ends of literature

    'Pleasure' and 'instruction' as ends of literature

    IGNOU SERVICE September 01, 2021

    The concepts of ‘pleasure’ and ‘instruction’ are classical. Their association with literature has got a long history which can be traced back to the Antiquity. In his Poetics, one of the earliest seminal works of literary theory, Aristotle conceives the goal of tragedy as catharsis, or the liberation of the mind of its viewers. This psychological redemption results from the arousal and purification of intense fear and pity in the audience, and it is in this arousal-and-purification business that the audience derives the true tragic pleasure . Furthermore, what make the audience enjoy a tragedy are the poet’s perfect technique of imitation, or the ‘reproduction of objects with minute fidelity’, and their recognition of the model being imitated. Pleasure, not ethics or instruction, is thus central to Aristotle’s theory of tragedy.

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    Longinus thus affirms the supremacy of ecstasy over persuasion and pleasure. He argues that while one can control their reasoning in terms of what to admit and what to refuse, the power of ecstasy that the sublime exerts cannot be resisted. It is like a bolt of lightning which scatters everything before at a single stroke. Moreover, although he acknowledges in section seven that “the beautiful and genuine effects of sublimity… please always, and please all,” Longinus just undermines ‘pleasure’. The reason is that ‘when writers try hard to please or to be exquisite, they fall into affectation’. Genuine sublimity gives us far more than pleasure; it sends us into ecstasies or raptures. It “elevates us” so that “uplifted with a sense of proud possession, we are filled with joyful pride, as if we had ourselves produced the very thing we haveheard.”

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    'Pleasure' and 'instruction' as ends of literature

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    'Pleasure' And 'Instruction' As Ends Of Literature

    Posted By: Sana Saifi February 17, 2023 Leave A Reply

    'Pleasure' And 'Instruction' As Ends Of Literature

    In classical literary theory, the primary ends of literature were often seen as "pleasure" and "instruction". These two goals were viewed as complementary, with literature providing both enjoyment and education to the reader.

    The goal of "pleasure" was often associated with the concept of aesthetic pleasure, or the enjoyment of beauty and art for its own sake. The idea was that literature could provide a source of delight and entertainment, stimulating the imagination and providing a form of escape from the stresses and mundane realities of everyday life.

    The goal of "instruction" was associated with the idea of moral or didactic literature, which aimed to teach or instruct the reader in certain values, virtues, or beliefs. This type of literature often had a clear moral message or lesson that the reader was expected to take away from the work.

    While these two goals were often seen as complementary, there were also debates about which was more important, with some arguing that literature should prioritize pleasure over instruction, while others believed that literature had a responsibility to educate and instruct its readers. Today, the idea of the ends of literature has evolved to include a broader range of goals and purposes, such as challenging social norms, exploring the complexities of human experience, and reflecting on the nature of language and storytelling itself.

    How Does Literature Provide Us With Pleasure

    Literature can provide us with pleasure in a variety of ways. For one, it can offer a form of escapism, allowing us to enter into different worlds and engage with different characters and stories. This can be a way to relax and unwind, to take a break from the stresses of daily life.

    In addition, literature can be aesthetically pleasing, with the language, form, and structure of a work creating a sense of beauty and harmony that is enjoyable in its own right. The use of vivid imagery, evocative language, and compelling storytelling can be emotionally satisfying and intellectually stimulating, providing a sense of fulfillment and pleasure.

    Furthermore, literature can offer insights into the human experience, providing a window into the complexities of the human condition and the world around us. It can offer new perspectives, challenge our assumptions, and deepen our understanding of ourselves and others. This can be a rewarding and enriching experience, bringing pleasure through intellectual engagement and emotional resonance.

    Overall, literature provides us with pleasure by offering a diverse range of experiences that can be emotionally satisfying, intellectually stimulating, and aesthetically pleasing. It is a form of art that has the power to move and inspire us, creating a sense of pleasure and fulfillment that is unique and valuable.

    What Literature That Instructs And Delights Is The Idea Of

    The idea of literature that instructs and delights is often attributed to the Roman poet Horace, who wrote in his Ars Poetica, "The poet should delight and instruct." This concept suggests that literature should both entertain and educate its readers. It suggests that literature should have both aesthetic and moral value. The pleasure that literature provides can come from its beauty, its ability to transport the reader to different worlds, and its emotional resonance. The instruction that literature provides can come from its ability to reveal truths about the human condition, to provide insight into different cultures and historical periods, and to challenge readers' assumptions and beliefs. This idea has been influential in shaping the goals of literature, and many writers strive to create works that both entertain and educate their readers.

    Which Philosopher Argued That Art Should Both Instruct And Delight

    The philosopher who argued that art should both instruct and delight was the Roman poet Horace. In his Ars Poetica, he famously stated that the purpose of poetry is to "delight and instruct." This idea has been influential in shaping the goals of literature and the arts ever since, and many writers and artists strive to create works that both entertain and educate their audience.

    What Is The Importance Of Pleasure Reading

    Pleasure reading, also known as recreational reading or reading for enjoyment, is important for several reasons. First, it can be a way to escape from the stresses of daily life and relax. Reading can transport you to different worlds, introduce you to new characters, and provide a break from the routine of daily tasks. Second, pleasure reading can expand your knowledge and vocabulary, and improve your critical thinking skills. Reading exposes you to different perspectives, ideas, and ways of thinking, and can help you develop empathy for others. Finally, pleasure reading can improve your mental health and well-being. Studies have shown that reading can reduce stress, improve sleep, and boost overall mood.

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    (PDF) Literature, Pleasure, and Ethics: A Historico

    PDF | This paper is a criticism of the theory according to which the primary aim of literature is to give pleasure, and literature does not teach... | Find, read and cite all the research you need on ResearchGate

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    Literature, Pleasure, and Ethics: A Historico-Critical Investigation

    March 2015 Authors: Pascal Ally Hussein

    The University of Sheffield


    This paper is a criticism of the theory according to which the primary aim of literature is to give pleasure, and literature does not teach anything new to human beings. The paper first attempts to place the triad literature-pleasure-ethics in a wide context of literary-critical and rhetorical debates that span centuries, from the Antiquity to the modern times. Then it proceeds to a critical examination of this doctrine of the primacy of pleasure over ethics in literature. In the end, it posits that there is no opposition between pleasure and ethics: literature only delights as it instructs. But inasmuch as ethics is the core layer, and pleasure the surface layer of literature, the former overrides the latter, and so reading involves moving from the outside to the inside of a work.

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    स्रोत : www.researchgate.net

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