Quintus Horatius Flaccus, born on December 8th 65B.C at Venosa. His father a former public slave and he owned a small farm in Venosa. In spite of his modest social position, Horace was given the best education. He went to study at Greece, there he deepened his knowledge for philosophy. He enrolled in Brutus’s republican army, and he and his legion were defeated at Philippi (42 B.C). He began writing poetry and came into contact with poets around the middle of 38 B.C he died in November 7th, 8B.C. his works included: The Epodes, the two books of Satire, the Odes and The Epistles.
Art of Poetry(Ars Poetica) :
Written in10 B.C.
Addressed to the Piso family. ().
Notes on Art of Poetry:
Unity and Consistency : The work of literature should be simple and well organized.
Skill Needed to Avoid Faults :
Know your capability.
With the arrangement : put things in order and each action will follow the other.
With the words : be creative in using words.
Fashion in Words : New words are stronger.
Meter and Subject : follow a certain tone and style, don’t mix tragedy with comedy and vice versa, unless it is important to the final outcome of the play.
Emotion and Character : Literature must give both pleasure and usefulness. Characters must follow the mood of the play.
Choice and Handling of Myth : adaptation and creativity are the only ways to write a play. Also show Mythical characters as strong and witty they were, as for human characters try to make them believable.
Some Rules for Dramatists :
Performing a story is better than narrating it.
Have a self censorship on your work.
Use 5 acts in the play you write.
The chorus shouldn’t sing any irrelevant lyrics to the plot.
Development of Tragedy : Drama was simple, but people have different point of views, that’s why writers added adjustment and changes in their plays so they could satisfy different tastes.
Satyr Plays: unlike Aristotle who believed that Satyr plays were the origin of tragedy, Horace thinks Satyr plays were a reinforcement of tragedy.
The Need of Technical Perfection : No matter how many mistakes you avoid, people we’ll see some.
Greek Models : a good reader makes a good writer.
Inventiveness of the Greeks in Drama :
Conversations between the main character and the chorus.
Presented a third character on stage.
Introduced masks and high boots.
Inventiveness of the Roman :
A poet should polish his works for as long as he can.
Writers should follow the Greeks footsteps by producing historical plays and comedies.
The Poet :
Looks doesn’t make a writer, it’s not worth it.
Wisdom is the source of correct writings.
Read works of people like Socrates.
By observation you’ll have a wide base of behaviors and manners of people to create characters.
Greek and Roman Attitudes :
Money blinds the soul of society.
Being brief eases the way people absorb the knowledge and wisdom in your text.
Make the work believable.
Remember that pleasure and usefulness is delight to the reader.
The appreciation of poetry varies because people have different interpretations.
If you haven’t read much poetry you should be able to write some.
Poetry and its Social Uses and Values : the power of poetry can effect people and change their attitudes and opinions.
Art and Nature :
Poetry is a combination of art and nature.
Take criticism and understand other points of view on your text.
The Mad Poet: some poets leave sanity in favor of experimentation of the world and of the relationships between people.
By Mousa’ed Kh. Al-Adwani and Ahmed Al-Marri