时间: 2019年12月07日 21:44

Characters, then, are not introduced that they may perform actions; but actions are represented for the sake of the characters who do them, or who suffer by them. It is not so much a ghostly apparition or a murder which interests us as the fact that the ghost appears to Hamlet, and that the murder303 is committed by Macbeth. And the same is true of the Greek drama, though not perhaps to the same extent. We may care for Oedipus chiefly on account of his adventures; but we care far more for what Prometheus or Clytemnestra, Antigone or Ajax, say about themselves than for what they suffer or what they do. Thus, and thus only, are we enabled to understand the tragic element in poetry, the production of pleasure by the spectacle of pain. It is not the satisfaction caused by seeing a skilful imitation of reality, for few have witnessed such awful events in real life as on the stage; nor is it pain, as such, which interests us, for the scenes of torture exhibited in some Spanish and Bolognese paintings do not gratify, they revolt and disgust an educated taste. The true tragic emotion is produced, not by the suffering itself, but by the reaction of the characters against it; for this gives, more than anything else, the idea of a force with which we can synergise, because it is purely mental; or by the helpless submission of the victims whom we wish to assist because they are lovable, and whom we love still more from our inability to assist them, through the transformation of arrested action into feeling, accompanied by the enjoyment proper to tender emotion. Hence the peculiar importance of the female parts in dramatic poetry. Aristotle tells us that it is bad art to represent women as nobler and braver than men, because they are not so in reality.185 Nevertheless, he should have noticed that on the tragic stage of Athens women first competed with men, then equalled, and finally far surpassed them in loftiness of character.186 But with his philosophy he could not see that, if heroines did not exist, it would be necessary to create them. For, if women are conceived as reacting against outward circumstances at all, their very helplessness will lead to the304 storing of a greater mental tension in the shape of excited thought and feeling debarred from any manifestation except in words; and it is exactly with this mental tension that the spectator can most easily synergise. The wrath of Orestes is not interesting, because it is entirely absorbed into the premeditation and execution of his vengeance. The passion of Electra is profoundly interesting, because it has no outlet but impotent denunciations of her oppressors, and abortive schemes for her deliverance from their yoke. Hence, also, Shakspeare produces some of his greatest effects by placing his male characters, to some extent, in the position of women, either through their natural weakness and indecision, as with Hamlet, and Brutus, and Macbeth, or through the paralysis of unproved suspicion, as with Othello; while the greatest of all his heroines, Lady Macbeth, is so because she has the intellect and will to frame resolutions of dauntless ambition, and eloquence to force them on her husband, without either the physical or the moral force to execute them herself. In all these cases it is the arrest of an electric current which produces the most intense heat, or the most brilliant illumination. Again, by their extreme sensitiveness, and by the natural desire felt to help them, women excite more pity, which, as we have said, means more love, than men; and this in the highest degree when their sufferings are undeserved. We see, then, how wide Aristotle went of the mark when he made it a rule that the sufferings of tragic characters should be partly brought on by their own fault, and that, speaking generally, they should not be distinguished for justice or virtue, nor yet for extreme wickedness.187 The 榠mmoderate moderation?of the Stagirite was never more infelicitously exhibited. For, in order to produce truly tragic effects, excess of every kind not only may, but must, be employed. It is by the reaction of heroic fortitude, either against unmerited outrage, or against the whole pressure of social law, that our synergetic interest is wound up305 to the intensest pitch. It is when we see a beautiful soul requited with evil for good that our eyes are filled with the noblest tears. Yet so absolutely perverted have men minds been by the Aristotelian dictum that Gervinus, the great Shakspearian critic, actually tries to prove that Duncan, to some extent, deserved his fate by imprudently trusting himself to the hospitality of Macbeth; that Desdemona was very imprudent in interceding for Cassio; and that it was treasonable for Cordelia to bring a French army into England! The Greek drama might have supplied Aristotle with several decisive contradictions of his canons. He should have seen that the Prometheus, the Antigone, and the Hippolytus are affecting in proportion to the pre-eminent virtue of their protagonists. The further fallacy of excluding very guilty characters is, of course, most decisively refuted by Shakspeare, whose Richard III., whose Iago, and whose Macbeth excite keen interest by their association of extraordinary villainy with extraordinary intellectual gifts. � 淚檓 one!?cried Sandy, his suspicions swept away. 淣umber two is named Larry.?淒ick is a dependable third!? � � � 伊人大杳焦在久久综合_老司机第一站免费网址_大香线一本道_一本道综免费观看 � � � � Before they had reached the post, he had learned a good deal about her. The elderly major who had come with her from Kansas told him that a lieutenant by the name of Brewster was insanely in love with her, that the same Brewster was a good deal of an ass,攖he two facts having no connection, however,攖hat she was an excellent travelling companion, always satisfied and always well. What the major did not tell him, but what he gathered almost at once, was that the girl had not endeared herself to any one; she was neither loved nor disliked攖he lieutenant's infatuation was not to be taken as an indication of her character, of course. But then she was beautiful, with her long, intent eyes, and strong brows and features cut on classic lines of perfection. So Landor left the major and cantered ahead to join her, where she rode with Brewster.