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What does this sam johnson sentence mean in plain language

  1. Feb 20, 2013 #1
    "...he who has mazed his imagination, in following the phantoms which other writers raise up before him, may here be cured of his delirious extasies, by reading human sentiments in human language"

    Heres the context.
    "This therefore is the praise of Shakespeare, that his drama is the mirrour of life; that he who has mazed his imagination, in following the phantoms which other writers raise up before him, may here be cured of his delirious extasies, by reading human sentiments in human language; by scenes from which a hermit may estimate the transactions of the world, and a confessor predict the progress of the passions."

    I get the general idea of what hes saying, but im not following his exact train of thought: for example, is "he"he reader? .. what does he mean by "mazed his imagination"? and what do the phantoms represent ?
    thanks for any help.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 20, 2013 #2
    In this case, maze means bewilder. The rest of the passage is straightforward. Shakespeare writes about real human sentiments, whereas other authors do not. If you are bewildered by the phantom sentiments of other authors, reading Shakespeare will cure you of it.
     
  4. Feb 20, 2013 #3
    thanks for the answer makes sense now.. btut how did you know that maze means bewilder? (derived from amaze?)
     
  5. Feb 20, 2013 #4
    I googled it. It was the first hit.
     
  6. Feb 20, 2013 #5
    My first hit was:

    -Wiki
     
  7. Feb 20, 2013 #6
    maze verb
     
  8. Feb 20, 2013 #7

    lisab

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    Amazing, Jimmy.
     
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