Emotion and the Arts

By Mette Hjort; Sue Laver | Go to book overview
Save to active project

Introduction

METTE HJORT & SUE LAVER

It is generally assumed that art and emotion are inextricably linked, as is shown by even the most cursory account of the history of critical thinking about music, painting, literature, or theatre.

Consider, for example, a few salient moments in the history of the theory and practice of the dramatic arts. Whereas Plato's indictment of poets construes theatre as a source of undesirable and even dangerous emotions, Aristotle's defense of the art hinges on its putative capacity to purge spectators of these very emotions. Plato's conception of theatre and emotion as inextricably intertwined provides support for the antitheatricalist viewpoints espoused by the early Church Fathers, just as it informs the condemnations of theatre articulated in sixteenth-century England and seventeenth-century France. 1 Thus, for example, William Prynne's strikingly vitriolic Histriomastix makes theatre a veritable machine of pandemonium fueled by mimetically inspired social emotions. 2 Pierre Nicole, the Jansenist, also charges theatre with undermining social order, but focuses his critique on actors' and playwrights' strategic and selective representation of the emotions, thereby taking issue with the links presented in plays between emotion and action. 3

Emotion, we have suggested, figures centrally in influential attempts to chart the reception of plays. Yet, if dramatic theorists are to be believed, this phenomenon should occupy a privileged site not only within reception studies, but within studies of performance as well. For example, Denis Diderot argued

-3-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Emotion and the Arts
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 312

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?