Does art, or can art, tell the truth? What kinds of truth does art deal with? Choose one form of art (visual art, literature or music) and discuss the nature of this art and its links to truth. Make sure you consider counter claims and explore the implications of your statements. Since biblical times when Pilate asked Jesus ‘What is truth? ‘ (St. John xviii. 37) the human race has been curious about the term truth. We, with our blind curiosity, always seek to find answers and the so called ‘truth’. Art is a vehicle that can be used to express ourselves and in turn, these ‘truths’.
Although the knowledge issues we encounter is; how do we know if something is telling the truth? What aspects incorporate telling the truth? The implications of this have an enormous effect because it could jeopardize strengths of the knowledge. For example, in the poem ‘Salad’ by the South African poet, Antjie Krog, the speaker reminisces about a sexual encounter while at a formal gathering, she could be telling the truth of an affair, or not. The richness with how she describes it could lead a reader to believe its true, although the richness could be mistaken for a hyperbole therefore making it not the truth.
The first aspect that will be discussed in this paper will be the attention to detail paid by the artist. The attention to detail gives more insight to a reader or audience and has the implication of making something more believable. For example, when I broke my arm, I could describe every excruciating detail of how I fell, why I fell, what I was doing when I fell. If all the details are there, the listener of my story would be more then inclined that I was telling the truth. In addition, Shakespeare’s Macbeth could be to show the attention to detail aspect.
Macbeth is a play about a man who kills the king of his country, and lives with the burden of high treason. One of the most memorable images in the play is the idea of blood on Macbeth hands. Shakespeare’s emphasis on the imagery, even when reading the play, portrays the attention to detail. This attention to detail portrays the truth of Macbeth’s character as a poetic tragedy, as a tragedy of moral order. Although it could be argued that modern society has influenced this interpretation. The term prose is distinguished from poetry by a closer resemblance to everyday speech and tends to have more rhythm.
‘Poetry is considered to be artificially developed (“The best words in the best order”), whereas prose is thought to be less constructed and more reflective of ordinary speech’ (Wikipedia). The second aspect that is going to be explored is the choice of words used in literature to communicate a message. The use of prose in fiction novels such as ‘The Color of Law’ by Mark Gimenez (a book about a lawyer who gets caught up in a high stakes criminal case) is altered quite dramatically through the course of the plot.
The sentences used are sharp and witty in the beginning and get slower after the case is over. This use of sharp, witty sentences would make this story of a lawyer believable and more gripping. If a story has the ability to transfix a reader, even though it’s a story, the author would con the reader into believing that it is true, that the story is non-fiction. So the way a piece of literature is phrased, it could apply to an audience for effectively, and in turn, making them believe it’s true. The terminology used to explain a situation is a way of knowing of revealing the truth of a plot in literature.