Longinus’ views on concept of Sublime and 5 Differences between True sublime and false sublime

Longinus’ views on concept of Sublime and 5 Differences between True sublime and false sublime

Longinus has talked in detail about the concept of sublime in his significant work titled On the Sublime dated back to the 1st century. It is considered as a classic work on aesthetics as well as a work of literary criticism. It is written in epistolary form. He has dedicated this work to a man called Terentianus who was a public figure in ancient Rome known for being cultured.

On the sublime is a work of literary criticism in which Longinus has differentiated and described the style of a good writing and also the difference between good writing and bad writing. To put his view forward about style of good and bad writing this work has presented various works of around 50 different authors from the past millennium or thousand years as examples and also tried to explain what leads any work to attain sublime.

In philosophy sublime means “quality of greatness.” According to Longinus the supreme goal of any writing should be “to achieve sublime.”

In physical terms the concept of sublime or quality of greatness and pleasure cannot be measured so to prove its usability the work should affect the reader in such a way that they can feel the various shades of emotion while reading the work and it must sublime their experience in the most unadulterated way.

Five important features of true sublime given by Longinus

1. Work should be based on the “great thoughts” of the writer.

2. It should have “Noble Diction”. It needs to be rhythmic and harmonious. It should persuade and give pleasure to the readers by its appeal and touch the reader’s soul.

3. It should have “Dignified word arrangement.” Proper and striking words should be used to hold the attention of the reader.

4. To move the readers emotionally, “strong emotions” must be embedded. It should be expressed in lofty and elevated language.

5. A true sublime must have “particular figure of speech and thought” according to the demand of the contextual environment.

Four features of False Sublime given by Longinus

1. Excessive use of pompous and bombastic words and trying to be pretentious but with blank outlook.

2. Childishness; immaturity in thoughts.

3. Defect of style; when sincerity gets sidelined in order to make the word fashionable and rational.

4. Lack of passion and emotion, focusing more on practicality than trying to arouse emotions in the audience.

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