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Vicco's (sic) New Science

Giambattista Vico - Lucian of Samosata Wiki

Vicco gives us a historical view of the progress of language and mankind itself. From the creation of Jupiter, to the construction of the first defined civilizations, mankind has been operating out of its imagination and brute strength. It seems that, according to Vicco, all of society is based upon poetry. Because primitive man lacked its current reasoning skills, man instead used its imagination to make sense of the world in which it lived. All of society owes it ability to reason now on its primitive use of poetry. As mankind continued to develop and grow, mythology began to subside under the sheer weight of science, but one thing surely seemed to survive: metaphor. Metaphor being a “miniature myth”, it is one of our most prized possessions in literature and poetry (p. 333). A good metaphor, especially a well-crafted extended metaphor, has the power to create new thinking on the most basic of subjects. And so out of poetry came wisdom, and when paired with scholarly intellect, mankind can achieve greatness of thought and action.

While it may have been that we were only given a portion of Vicco's New Science, it seems that he was never able to fulfill his promise of explaining his goals more. Frequently he would state that he will will explain or prove the concept later, but that later never seems to come. While Vicco makes several convincing arguments on the nature and important magnificence of poetry, he never seems to achieve his slated goals. I have trouble agreeing that poetry is the “master key” of society, but I do recognize its importance in the creation of language and culture. Vicco did right in giving poetry importance, but I feel that the actions of mankind far outweigh the nature of its mythology and poetry.

Johnson, Shane. “Vicco's New Science.” 01/31/13. <>

vico/literary-criticism-and-theory-vico5.txt · Last modified: 2014/01/14 23:20 (external edit)