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


A term used by classical, Renaissance, and neoclassical writers (Horace, Sir Philip Sidney, John Dryden, and others) to describe what art should seek to imitate and to represent realistically -- namely, the external world and the action and life of human beings within it. (See also Art, Decorum, Delight, Instruction.)

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