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Aristotle Anatomised: The «Poetics» in England 1674 - 1781

John Christopher Eade

The Poetics has always had an independence from Aristotle's other writings, even from the Rhetoric, and it will always be amenable to being given a colouring by the context in which it finds itself. In the neo-classical period in England - here taken to extend from the last quarter of the 17th century to the last quarter of the 18th - it continued to be regarded as a basic authority. But in the treatment of its text there is a continuing shift of attitude - well before classicism gave way to other impulses. As will be seen, the shift is reflected even in the personalities of the six writers studied here.
Contents: Thomas Rymer - John Dennis - John Dryden - Poetic Justice - Charles Gildon - Joseph Trapp - James Harris.