Volltext: Physiological Aesthetics.

gical arrangement, and to place first those emotions which 
are most frequently employed in the composition of Poetry. 
And first we may consider the emotion of the Sublime. 
The Sublime takes its origin in admiration for literal 
physical greatness, and, in its very earliest developments, 
the greatness of the strongest men. It is thus closely akin 
to the sympathetic pleasure of manual skill. The members 
of a tribe naturally make much of the strong man who 
guards them from the enemy, and the deft-handed man who 
fashions for them arrow-head and hatchet. Hence arises a 
delight in feats of strength, which is gradually transferred 
to the deeds of mythical ancestors; to imaginary beings, 
gods and djinns ; and again to inanimate objects, mountains, 
rocks, the cataract, the ocean, whose vast size and enormous 
force are contrasted with the puny thews and limbs of mortal 
men. Next, it is extended to remote time, the dim past, 
the greatness of duration ; to remote space, the vast uni¬ 
verse, the greatness of extension ; to thought, genius, the 
greatness of intellect ; at last to moral grandeur, heroism, 
the greatness of ethical endurance. We find, consequently, 
that the earliest Poetry, the ballad literature of savage 
tribes, is almost wholly engrossed with the mighty deeds of 
heroes in battle ; when relieved at all, it is by the acts of 
the great gods and the majesty of natural scenery. The 
Iliad rests its much exaggerated claims upon these grounds. 
It will be seen that the passages which strike us most and 
cling longest in the memory are those which appeal strongly 
to these early germs of the Sublime :—the Titans piling Pelion 
upon Ossa ; Phoebus Apollo, like to the night, coming down


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