Violence in the Arts – Plato vs. Aristotle Essay

1285 Words Nov 28th, 2005 6 Pages
Violence in The Arts – Plato vs. Aristotle

Nowadays, it is hard to turn on a television program, catch a movie or buy your younger sibling a video game without encountering a warning for extreme violence. Everyday, our lives are exposed to violence on the screen, whether it is in the latest Sopranos episode or even watching the six o'clock news. For quite a while now, people have been demanding that stricter censorship be placed on the media, especially those programs and video games that can easily be obtained by the youth, due to their feelings that this violence can influence people to "act out". However, this is not a new idea. Back in ancient Greece, the philosopher Plato believed that exposure to the emotions of the arts
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Plato perceived the dramas as dangerous, because he felt that they created confusion, miscommunication and ignorance. He also felt that the entire world's evils came from a defective sense of reality and that these dramas promoted that. For example, take a young child who grew up somewhat isolated from the outside world and whose only outlet to our society is through the media. His steady contact with violent programs (which in the end, show a happy conclusion no matter what happens throughout) may convince him that this type of behavior is normal and accepted. Plato was concerned especially about the influence that drama and even pornography would have on children, because he felt that their minds were not developed to the full extent in order to differentiate between the right and wrong that they see in the dramas. Many people will be quick to agree that a child should not watch a rated R action movie, yet they still allow them to view a Saturday morning cartoon in which the main character gets "run over" every episode and still comes back the next week. This can create a faulty understanding of reality to a child, as well as an unsuspecting adult, because it does not clarify that death is final.
What about the movies that emulate and perhaps glorify the lives of drug dealers and gangs? Are they encouraging one to participate in

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