ART AND RHAPSODY IN PLATO’S <i>ION</i>
Keywords:Poetry, rhapsody, techne, knowledge, art, inspiration
AbstractThe relationship which Plato had with poetry was never the best one can have. The same thing can also be said about rhapsody and the rhapsodes. Plato has real doubts whether rhapsody, along with poetry is an art or not and if the rhapsode and the poets really posses a techne. The short Socratic dialog Ion raises the question weather the rhapsode possesses an art, a real understanding of what he says about poetry or not; if the rhapsode really possesses an art then what exactly would it consist of? Platon suggests that rhapsodes do not get to the knowledge of poetry, “they do not attain to the clearness of ideas” but they are just under divine inspiration (which in this context expresses only the irrationality of the poetic process). Even if Ion can speak beautifully about Homer he doesn’t possess an art because he is not able to speak the same way about any other poet; whereas to have a techne implies to have knowledge over the whole of an art.
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