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Poets and Mimesis in the Republic

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Chapter Summary

In Republic III, mimesis would denote 'impersonation' or 'dramatic enactment', where as in the context of Republic X, mimêsis would denote 'artistic representation or depiction'; this meaning, it seems, has been derived from the consideration that mimêsis is described there as the making of images and that both painters and poets are said to engage in it. This chapter argues that the term mimêsis is used in the two books with exactly the same meaning, and that the mimêsis of Book III consisting in the above-mentioned impersonation and, on the other hand, the discrediting mimesis of the epistemological argument in Book X differ in the first place in being mimêseis of different objects, and secondly in being, the one non- deceptive, and the other deceptive.

Keywords: Mimesis; Poets; Republic



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