Plato called poetry a ‘false Siren’, the ‘ally of all that is low and weak in the soul against that which is high and strong.’ (Bywater 1920) The problem was that onlookers in the theatre would become emotionally involved in the psychic conflicts and suffering that was depicted, whereas it would have been better to view the human condition with more philosophical detachment. Plato thought that poetry nourished the childish part of the soul (Chriswold 2008). But Plato was also prepared to give the advocates of poetry an opportunity to show that poetry can be useful: ‘‘We will give her champions (advocates of poetry), not poets themselves but poet-lovers, an opportunity to make her defense in plain prose and show that she (poetry) is not only sweet—as we well know—but also helpful to society and the life of man.’’ ...

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Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10902-009-9151-8, hdl.handle.net/1765/30825
Note Review of: Ryan M. Niemiec and Danny Wedding, Positive Psychology at the Movies: Using Films to Build Virtues and Character Strengths. Hogrefe and Huber Publishers, Cambridge, USA, 2008, ISBN 978-0-88937-352-5, 308 pp
Citation
Bergsma, A.. (2009). Can Movies Enhance Happiness?. Journal of Happiness Studies: an interdisciplinary forum on subjective well-being, 11(5), 655–657. doi:10.1007/s10902-009-9151-8