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  • noun

Words related to didacticism

communication that is suitable for or intended to be instructive

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Didactic poetry was not generally listed by the critics as a separate genre.
Even if we are to include didactic poetry in the broad genre of the epic in hexameter--as Dalzell suggests with reference to a passage in Quintilian, 'who in his survey of Greek and Latin authors, listed the didactic (24) poets alongside writers of epic and pastoral' (Dalzell 1996:20)--it is instructive for our particular purpose in analysing the Ars poetica to see that the subject matter which the Horatian text recommends for hexameter verse--'the deeds and gloomy conflicts of both kings and leaders'--is quite incompatible with the often highly technical subject of what we customarily regard as didactic poetry.
Dalzell, however, in The criticism of didactic poetry, argues against the need for a genre to be explicitly recognized by an author in order for that particular author to follow in a certain generic tradition of writers: 'It does not follow that because theory was so slow to define the status of didactic poetry, poets did not recognize that they were working in a genre which had a tradition of its own.
Now to allow literary critics the freedom to ignore entirely the validity of theory (25) and to define the genre of didactic poetry loosely in terms of certain 'literary codes' which may be found in a tradition of Greek and Roman writers stemming all the way back from Hesiod, as Dalzell suggests, is and has in fact proven to be a dangerous license.
Ironically enough, both of these commentators, in order to incorporate Ovid's elegiac Ars amatoria into their classification of 'didactic poetry', have ignored the basic criterion of hexameter verse, if we are to assume that the ancients would have placed didactic poetry within the general class of epic (as Toohey argues).
In short, if the Ars poetiea were designed by Horace to stand in the tradition of didactic poetry, we would expect some manifest suggestion of his place in the genre.
Does placing it within the genre of didactic poetry solve this difficulty?
However, as I have mentioned previously with regard to didactic poetry, when the criteria or codes of a generic category become too inclusive, they risk losing their utility for the critic.
Arnold, here, is drawing a distinction between the kind of poetry that "animates" and "ennobles"--a didactic poetry that communicates ideas, which for Arnold are the bedrock of all good poetry-and the kind of poetry that "awakens" emotions such as "a pleasing melancholy"--a suggestive poetry of emotion.
Increasingly, however, Arnold's interests lie not in exposing and exploring, but rather in solving some of the challenges and obstacles of inter-subjective communication in a didactic poetry that, in employing an accessible language that is concerned with audience, will be, to invoke the terms of John Stuart Mill, not overheard but rather in the nature of oratory.