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Glossary of Literary Theory
by Greig E. Henderson and Christopher Brown


A term used by classical, Renaissance, and neoclassical critics (Horace, Sir Philip Sidney, John Dryden, and others) to describe a unified work that displays correctness and good taste and that has the right proportions of decorum (the mutual appropriateness of genre, style, action, subject matter, and character), delight (the intrinsic pleasure that artistic imitation affords), instruction (the utility, edification, and education that artistic imitation affords), and nature (the accurate representation of the world and human life). (See also Decorum, Delight, Instruction, Nature.)

© Greig E. Henderson and Christopher Brown,
University of Toronto
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University of Toronto English Library
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Last modified: March 31, 1997