Experts define art and literature as two separate traits of human thoughts, concepts, and ideas. For them, the purpose of literature is to bring pleasure and instruction. However, when the discussion surrounds defining art from the literary perspective, they prefer to talk about various aspects like the moral values of art and many others.
For instance, Aristotle unveiled one such essential aspect. According to him, the word ‘imitation’ elucidates the “aesthetic value of art.” The Greek philosopher interprets that an artist could imitate things as they should be. The reason is that, in reality, there is no literal transcript of the term reality.
In actual fact, art is the outcome of an artist’s mental process. It emerges from his inner acts, outward actions, and spiritual movements emanating from deep, intense sources. To be specific, art comprises essential inner activities of the soul.
Some literary experts believe that every part of the world remains the prime source of art. However, it is quite impossible to conceive the entire universe as the raw or crude material of the artwork. And in truth, Aristotle’s surmise regarding art shows that it has evident conformity with the Greek artists, including the poets and writers’ practices of that time.
Now, defining art from its moral values unfolds many vital points. The process first signifies that the outer world of human feelings, concepts, and thoughts have a profound association with the emotional elements breathing in human life. In short, it is elicited from the context of internal action. Moreover, according to a few literary experts, imitative art, like poetry, appears as a vital expression of universal elements in human life.
However, to some extent, this theory conflicts with the one possessed by Aristotle. According to it, fine art abolishes what is transient and reveals essential features that are permanent and original. It uncovers the form or pattern towards which an object inclines and an outcome that nature seeks to attain. And under this individuality, art strives to find universality.
Yes, it passes beyond that stark reality given by nature and conveys a more purified form. From Aristotle’s artistic viewpoint, this originality looks like – by imitating the universality, art ultimately imitates the ideal.
In the most common version, a work of art denotes a perfectly idealized representation of the human life, that is, of characters, emotions, and actions. In a genuinely literary sense, this presentation defines the portrayal of characters through various literary paths, like poetry and others. Furthermore, from Aristotle’s standpoint, this character depiction in poetry and epics has its founding stones in moral goodness. And in epic, that ‘moral goodness’ has its ultimate foundation in heroic orders. This old Greek version undoubtedly seems different from the current plain virtue that lacks unnecessary aspiring enthusiasm. Defining art with a literary or written, or wordy ornamentation contains not only moral background. It also consists of sketching characters possessing both perfections and imperfections. Moreover, displaying these moral imperfections touches the readers’ imagination and triggers a sense of splendor. In short, artistry shapes human thinking to lift above the day-to-day life reality. For example, Macbeth, Othello, Hamlet, and King Lear demonstrate the zenith of Shakespearean artwork that makes these characters universal figures. At the same time, they elevate human thinking and unfold a world of new concepts and imagination. And here lies the beauty of an artwork.