Mine Eyes Have Seen

In the context of moral criticism, Plato believed that art and poets in particular simply existed to poorly hold a mirror up to nature and lacked intelligence and depth, and that the arts should exist to teach piety and virtue. In the play “Mine Eyes Have Seen”, elements of both of these ideas are shown. The play primarily holds a mirror up to nature as Plato would say, in that it highlights the hardships rooted in racism that the main characters are forced to go through and it shows the condition of society at the time. However, I do not believe that the play does this poorly as Plato would suggest, as it vividly puts the reader into the circumstances of the characters invoking empathy. Nonetheless, this would mean that the play defies moral criticism

The argument can be made that through holding the mirror up to nature, particularly the racist ideals in society at the time the play is teaching virtue. Piety is not necessarily expressed in the play, however exposing the hateful nature of human beings I believe creates awareness and invokes empathy in the readers which in turn teaches virtue.

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