Ideality in Theatre. Or a reverse evolution of mimesis from Plato to Diderot

María J. Ortega Máñez


This paper deals with a development of the ancient thought on mimesis in its modern reception as regards a certain idea of theatre. It defends the hypothesis that the figure of the character, as set up in Diderot’s Paradoxe sur le comédien, has its source in a curious reversal of the Platonic mimesis. After presenting the main tenets of Plato’s reflection on mimesis and of Diderot’s theory on character, showing their convergences and contrasts, it is analyzed how such a conceptual turnaround has historically taken place, by establishing a chain of reception from Plato to Diderot passing through Cicero and the Renaissance artists.


mimesis, idea, Plato, Diderot, character

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