Terminology / Theory



In Plato’s work mimesis is considered a reflection of an ‘eternal model’ of the world in language, in the thought of the philosopher, and in material things; it is seen as mimicry of a visual, behavioural or impersonatory kind; and it is discussed  as the making of poetic, musical and choreographic images.

Since Plato, mimesis has been frequently considered merely as a dramatic imitation of events and characters. In opposition to the reporting of events and characters which ‘tells’ what occurs in narrative and is more readily prone to the charge of didacticism, mimesis in this formulation simply ‘shows’ to readers or spectators what goes on in narrative.

The latter perspective is largely derived from the sketchy comments of Aristotle in his Poetics.

p 235 Narrative: The New Critical Idiom by Paul Cobley (2001)


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