Aristotle’s Poetics was the center of some of the most heated debates in the history of art. Mayhew traces this historical development, discussing in particular the Classicists’ interpretation of Aristotle as an enemy of artistic freedom and creativity and the Romanticist reaction of men such as Victor Hugo and Friedrich Schiller, who understood that Aristotle was much better than his followers and critics took him to be. The course concludes with a discussion of the sense in which Aristotle can be considered the father of Romanticism, and how a closer study of his and Ayn Rand’s works can help bring about an esthetic revival in our culture.