Essay heading: Plato Vs Shelley

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March 3, 2003






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"Reason is to the imagination as the instrument to the agent, as the body to the spirit, as the shadow to the substance." (429) The analogy that Shelley uses portrays that reason is the basis of the imagination, implying that poetry holds truth, yet it is an idealized truth, which is determined by Plato in The Republic to be essentially false...
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Shelley uses a similar metaphor of a mirror, as did Plato. "Poetry is a mirror which makes beautiful that which is distorted." (431) While Shelley is trying to defend poetry, he is still representing is as an image, just as Plato had. Plato uses this mirror symbol more successfully in that he makes the assertion that that in which is imitated, as is a mirror image, is far from the truth...
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