Defending Ion: A Contemporary Rhapsode Replies
Theatre and Performance Studies
[Correction Notice: An erratum for this article was reported in Vol 4(3) of Storytelling, Self, Society (see record 2008-16392-006). In the article , the Figure 1 was originally omitted. The figure is given in the erratum. The publisher wishes to express its sincere regret for this error.] Plato's dialogue Ion begins the West's venerable suspicion of art, artists, and art-making in general and of the poetic, storytelling, and theatrical arts in particular. Plato's arguments against Ion, a rhapsode (i.e., a performer of Homeric epic poetry), may be read as strictly pertaining to the ancient rhapsodes--or may be read through as a kind of historicized defense of contemporary storytellers. This essay revisits and reconsiders Plato's dialogue and offers new replies for the hapless Ion.