Plato and Sir Philip Sydney's Views on Poetry

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It seems that Plato and Sir Philip Sidney are somewhat different and alike but Sidney is more relative. He makes it acceptable for poetry to experiment in different things instead of being so serious all the time. Comparing the two essays, Sidney is more realistic and practical about poetry and its meaning than Plato. Plato wants to create something that does not exist in the world-The Perfect Ideal State. There is nothing wrong with wanting to improve your living environment or the world that you live in, but everything will not go away by the snap of a finger. Therefore, Plato only sees things in black and white. Sidney, on the other hand, lives in a more realistic world where everything is already established. Sidney defends poetry as if …show more content…
Plato just wants poetry to educate, while Sidney thinks poetry can educate and be delightful at the same time. As said in The Defense of Poetry, “Poesy, therefore, is an art of imitation . . . With this end-to teach and delight.” This means that poetry does not have to be tedious and so serious all the time. It is possible to enjoy a humorous poem every once in a while. As for Plato, if it’s not educational, it wouldn’t fit into the perfect world that he wants to create. Poetry brought man to other forms of knowledge such as books and plays. Plato says that poets tell lies and blames negativity on the poems. The statement, “The fault of telling a lie, and what is more, a bad lie.” shows how Plato makes the poetry seem to be wrong. In book two of The Republic, Plato states that poetry and mythology are wholly imitative, meaning poetry is counterfeit of the real thing. Plato also states that a “poet is like a painter who, as we have already observed, will make likeness of cobbler though he understands nothing of cobbling, and his picture is good enough for those who know no more than he does, and judge only by colors and figures.“ He’s saying that a painter could never really capture the full beauty of whatever he decides to paint. He ties poetry with the painter. A poet will never be able to capture the significance of what he is really writing about because he may have not experienced that…