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[668c] imitative and representative;1 that much, at least, they would all admit,—poets, audience, and actors alike, would they not?

They would.

Now the man who is to judge a poem2 unerringly must know in each particular case the exact nature of the poem; for if he does not know its essence,—what its intention is and what the actual original which it represents,—then he will hardly be able to decide how far it succeeds or fails in fulfilling its intention.

Hardly, to be sure.

1 Cp. Plat. Laws 655d, above. The music (songs and tunes) of dramatic compositions is specially alluded to.

2 Or musical composition.

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