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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Didacticism is an artistic philosophy that emphasizes instructional and informative qualities in literature and other types of art. Didactic art intends not primarily to "entertain" or to pursue subjective goals. The opposite of "didactic" is "non-didactic." If the artist is more concerned with artistic qualities and techniques than with conveying a message, then the work is considered to be non-didactic, even if it serves instructive or educational purposes.

An example of didactic writing may be found in Alexander Pope's An Essay on Criticism (published 1711), which offers a range of advice about critics and criticism.

The term "didactic" also refers to media that are "burdened" with instructive, factual, or otherwise "educational" information, sometimes to the detriment of a reader's (or viewer's) enjoyment.

Some have suggested that nearly all of the best poetry is didactic. Contrarily, Edgar Allan Poe called didacticism the worst of "heresies" in his essay The Poetic Principle (before 1850).

Other examples of didactic literature include:

Didactic plays teach the audience through the use of a moral or a theme.

A good example of didactism in music is the chant Ut queant laxis, which was used by Guido of Arezzo to teach solfege syllables.

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Didacticism" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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