Zabudskaya Y.L. Axiological Functions of the Dramatic Genre (Aristophanes, Aristotle, Plutarch)
The article discusses the concept of the “axiological method” of Aristotle’s ʻPoeticsʼ and an approach to the tragedy as an object and method of appraisal in the works of Aristophanes (ʻFrogsʼ) and Plutarch (ʻMotaliaʼ and ʻLivesʼ). All the authors are innovators in their approach: ʻFrogsʼ is the first example of literary criticism, determining the value of the tragedy by its educational value; ʻPoeticsʼ is the first example of systematic criticism, with the purpose to identify the signs of καλλίστη τραγῳδία (“the best tragedy”); in Plutarch’ works the “tragic” often implies a negative connotation, but dramatic allusions perform a variety of functions, from decorative quotations to plot-composition dominants. Aristophanes acts as a practitioner and judges contemporary drama; Aristotle acts as a theorist, analyzing already fixed form of the classic drama without focusing on contemporary theater; Plutarch in this material is an eclectic as usual: his attitude is formed by the modern entertainment theater, but he also uses the classic tragedy as a precedent text – hence the ambiguity of interpretation.