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Impact of Aristotle on Art and Drama

The story of true hero has been told since the beginning of time. A hero is a person all people look up to. Their strength and morality is set apart from all individuals as they dedicate their lives to protecting others around them. In various ways, they are the “ideal” citizen. For example, they show compassion to those in need, they follow the rules and are role models to the youth. Over the years, there has been many hero’s that has emerged into literature books. Most of the stores are about Greek Gods they ruled over the lands from the heavens. They also are said have a great deal oy influence on the world we know today. The role of hero played a major role in the development of drama and art in the ancient civilization. It allowed people to see the good in others and believe in a better world. In addition, they created more diversity within individuals and what they wanted to write about by find the “ideal” on their work.
Aristotle was a huge contributor to the art world. Drama was the on the rise to being the biggest form of expression in art. He set the tone for numerous drama concepts that are used in today’s society. Tragedy was the main focus of drama. The book defines tragedy as a literary genre by stating “not so much with catastrophic events as with how these events work to affect individuals in shaping their character and in determining their fate (Fiero 2015)”. The hero becomes who is he by the journey he takes to greatness. Furthermore, that is way his tragedy has to be more than chaos but instead something that creates a bigger picture. On his rise, Aristotle had compiled an abundance of literary samples that he felt should be the blueprint of how to write an artistic masterpiece called “The Poetics”. He believed that he had discovered what the true essence of what poetry should look like. In addition, he wanted to influence others around him to see literature and poetry the same way he envisioned it. Aristotle also wanted the audience to feel a certain why towards the heroes he described in his writings. Furthermore, the audience had to try to relate to the characters and understand that heroes are there to lead by example by showing morality better than the average human being. Furthermore, “The Poetics” shares the guidance of building a strong foundation. The balance between the story and the actions within the story has to be precise. The theme must follow a specific plan that Aristotle designed. Furthermore, the story has to have a big event that feeds from smaller ones. It should all connect like one big puzzle.
Greek drama was one of the many influence on the human society. People were now able to show expression in physical human form. As popularity grew, theaters were being constructed to withstand a large audience. Hundreds of plays were performed at the Dionysus in Athens. Furthermore, writer Sophocles had many of his plays performed there. Sophocles wrote various tragedies that clashed with human’s morality explained in Greek myths and legends. However, because many people already knew these stories writers had to improvise to make the stories more relatable and unexpected. The play Antigone was one the most popular tragedies. One of the many reasons why it has become so popular over time because it touches bases on many important relatable issues. For example, it dives into the problems between the right of states and the individuals that live in those states, the relationship within a family and the community, the roles of politics according to gender and human law. Over the course of time, we have seen how every single one of these issues have become big influences within the history of the human race. Sophocles shared many similarities with Aristotle literary views with his famous piece “Antigone”. In addition, he also wants to show emotion within his work to help the audience develop a certain tone towards his characters.
Aristotle’s aesthetic were the principles of the famous “Antigone” by Sophocles. Just as Aristotle describes, Antigone relies on a solitary event such as the critical decision of the main character Creon. Furthermore, the decision he made set the tone for the remainder of the story. That single event created a vast amount of possibilities of where the story could potentially go. In addition, the balance between reality and the contents within the play aligns so it’s able to be comparable for the audience. Aristotle wanted to make sure that tragedy was understood as a literary genre instead of a concept within drama. The audience has to be scared and sympathetic and the same time. With these mix emotions, the viewers are find confliction within themselves. They must make a decision on what they believe about the content. In addition, their conclusion may conflict them with their everyday reality. Antigone is the prime example of what Aristotle wanted to instill into the drama world. I believe Antigone conforms to the ideas of Aristotle based upon his perspective in his literary piece “Poetics”. For example, Sophocles main character Creon states “But it is those that are most obstinate suffer the greatest fall; the hardest iron, most fiercely tempered 330 in the fire, that is most often snapped and splintered. I have seen the wildest horses tamed, and only by the tiny bit. There is no room for pride in one who is a slave! This girl already had fully learned the art of insolence when she transgressed the laws that I established; and now to that she adds a second outrage— to boast of what she did, and laugh at us. Now she would be the man, not I, if she defeated me and did not pay for it. But though she be my niece, or closer still than all our family, she shall not escape the direst 340 penalty; no, nor shall her sister: I judge her guilty too; she played her part in burying the body (Fiero 2015)”. Furthermore, from this small section of the play it is clear that there is some concepts of Aristotle’s “Poetics” within the statements. Creon is displaying how his defeat and suffering is causing him to view the world differently. He is showing his true hero morality by taking fault in the prior events that had occurred. In the process, he is making the audience feel sympathetic towards him because of the way he handles himself and the situation. Another example would be when Creon says “So may you ever be resolved, my son, in all things to be guided by your father. It is for this men pray that they may have obedient children, that they may requite their father’s enemy with enmity and honor whom their father loves to honor. One who begets unprofitable children makes trouble for himself, and gives his foes nothing but laughter. Therefore do not let your pleasure 390 in a woman overcome your judgment, knowing this, that if you have an evil wife to share your house, you’ll find cold comfort in your bed (Fiero 2015)”. In this example, the audience is feeling pity which is the second emotion that Aristotle describes. The audience starts to feel bad for Creon as he describes his hardships and how he can overcome them. In conclusion, it is clear that Aristotle was in the mist of starting a literary movement involving the ideals of a true hero and “Antigone” is a prime example on how it all works.
Works Cited
Fiero, Gloria. (2015). The Humanistic Tradition: Prehistory to Early Modern World, Vol. I (7th Edition). McGraw Hill. ISBN-10: 1259360660 , ISBN-13: 978-1259360664.

To Return of Not to Return: Discussions of Art Reciprocity

To Return of Not to Return: Discussions of Art Reciprocity
Should countries return historical artifacts/artwork to their country of origin or original owners? The topic of art reciprocity is complex and not easily answered without considering many different factors, some of which include political, cultural and economic. When possible after these factors are considered, works of art that were stolen, illegally or immorally obtained should be returned to their rightful owners or the country of origin when the owner is no longer living. There are cases, however that it is not feasible for the artifacts to be returned. In those cases, the right thing to do if for the holder of the artifacts to clearly give credit to the artist or the origins of the artifacts themselves. Each case must be decided for itself and not fall under the blanket of one idea, however. There are many cases of artifacts being destroyed either by natural disasters or simply because a religious or political groups have decided it wasn’t moral. In these cases, property should be shared.
Political instability and natural disasters can threaten cultural property anywhere – w it’s the more than 4,000 medieval manuscripts destroyed by Islamist militant in Mali in the 2013 or the galleries and art collections in New York City damaged by flooding during Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Allowing the world’s museums to share cultural property through loans or acquisitions would reduce some of these risks. (Cumo 128).
Political Issues
Along with issues of culture there are politics involved in returning art and artifacts to countries of origin. Governments must work together to make a plan and to determine the best actions to take. This can be a very difficult process because of the ways the artifacts may have been taken or just a matter of discussions and agreements between countries. As countries deal with each other, there also is consideration of illegal activities by museum directors. In the case of Kind Croesus’ golden brooch as cited in Beauchemin, the brooch was looted, repatriated, and then stolen to pay off a “corrupt museum director’s” gambling debt. (3).
The UN has decided to take a stance on the subject and “more than half of the 192 member nations of the UN have laws that wither grant the state ownership of ancient objects found within their borders or restrict their export without state approval” (Cuno 124). It must also be taken into consideration the country in which these pieces are traveling. How safe are they during the transportation process and what state is the county in when they get there. Unstable countries or countries in constant warfare don’t always provide a safe place for the artifacts to remain whole. (Beauchemin 3).
Cultural Issues
One of the more sensitive issues that go along with returning artworks and artifacts are those that have cultural ties. These can be delicate and uncomfortable discussions to have but are needed to resolve the issues or to at least have conversations about them. Some situations are almost easy to determine. Paintings and other artifacts that were taken by the Nazi’s during World War II have such emotional ties to their families that it’s almost always a yes to the question “should they be returned”? Other artifacts that were acquired during invasions thousands of years ago are not so easily answered. “All of a sudden, paintings that had been part of the “mythology” of the family are alive and there’s hope. There a change.” (Waxman 1). It makes it especially difficult if the original country has leadership that doesn’t cherish these artifacts or will only let them be destroyed.
Lubow talks about “nations whose ancient past is typically more glorious than their recent history” is holding (1) the “framework” (1) for arguments of Universities and museums holding on to acquired artifacts for public display instead of returning. These are valid arguments for both sides. As in the case of the country of Peru and Yale University, if the artifacts were returned there would be a huge dent in the collection for the British Smithsonian, the Louvre and other museums where people go to enjoy these pieces and learn about the Peruvian culture. On the other hand, Lubow cites the feelings of the Peruvian people who must go to other countries to view their own culture.
Even within the art community there are differing opinions of what to do with the pieces. Farago discussed differences between entire cultures such as the indigenous of Australia, and that of just the country of ownership.
But in the case of works of art from indigenous Australia, we are looking at a very different question. Here the petitioners for restitution are not the government of the Commonwealth of Australia, but rather contemporary indigenous communities whose understanding of culture, time and kinship comes into direct conflict with the imperative of the Western museum (Farago 3).
The History Today article cites a quote from Marie Rodet, Senior Lecturer in the History of Africa, University of London as saying “It’s time for museums to do their job”. Many curators argue that finding the country of origin is difficult or often impossible. Rodet argues “galleries, museums and private collectors have never made the effort to know the history of the artefacts in their possession; or worse, they know, but don’t want to acknowledge, the circumstances under which they were acquired. (History Today 3).
Economic Issues
As with all major issues, the talk of money always enters the discussion and is part of the decision making process. Graykowski discusses the morality of returning “Nazi-looted art” (Waxman 4), but also says it isn’t really about money. Some governments would disagree citing price tags of millions of dollars to acquire art and return to countries of origin. The economic issues always seen to be bigger than any other issue. Countries want to be ensured that they aren’t losing out financially, but at the same time when items have been gathered by illegal means or through immoral activity, the economic issues are less important. There are too many questions surrounding the economics of art repatriation. Who pays the owners? Which owners or ancestors should be paid and how much? Are market values taken into consideration? The other major consideration in the economics are the large amounts of art smugglers and fake artifacts that are passed off as realistic. These make the arguments even more difficulty to solve for world leaders and those in the art community.
There are no short and easy answers to the question of art reciprocity. There are many factors to consider, some of which I discussed here. There are many economic, cultural and political factors that must be discussed and decided upon as well as a general sense of morality when determine if art pieces and artifacts should be returned to the country of origin or original owners. When leaders and those in charge of the care of ancient artifacts and important pieces can work together to better understand the meanings these pieces have to their cultures and the larger importance they hold for the world. Communication and peaceful discussions must be done so the world can continue to enjoy and learn from these pieces. Credit must be given to the original owners as well as the countries of origin with explanations of how the pieces were acquired to create a sense of fairness for everyone. “Historic artefacts are representative not only of humanity’s achievements, but of the travel and traffic that have formed the world order we all now inhabit.” (History Today 4).
Works Cited
Cuno, James. “Culture War: The Case Against Repatriating Museum Artifacts.” vol. 93, no. 6, 2014, pp. 119–129. ,
“Do Historical Objects Belong in Their Country of Origin?” History Today, History Today, Mar. 2019,
Farago, Jason. “Culture – To Return or Not: Who Should Own Indigenous Art?” BBC, BBC, 21 Apr. 2015,
Lubow, Arthur. “The Possessed.” The New York Times Magazine, 24 June 2007,
Magazine, Paper. “Should the British Return the Stolen Rosetta Stone to Egypt?” PAPER, PAPER, 11 Sept. 2019,
Waxman, Olivia B. “Nazi-Looted Painting Returned After Being Sold Back and Lost.” Time, Time, 21 Mar. 2019,