Classicism is usually contrasted with romanticism; the art of classicism typically seeks to be formal, restrained, and Apollonian (nothing in excess) rather than Dionysiac (excess), in Friedrich Nietzsche's opposition.
Unity of action meant that the play should be constructed around a single 'plot-line', such as a tragic love affair or a conflict between honour and duty.
Classicists did not approve of Shakespeare, who constantly broke these rules.
Symmetrically, in China's cultural sphere of influence, the character 經 (jing in pinyin) refers to a set of texts written during Chinese antiquity and the study of the language, literature, history and philosophy of ancient China, mostly through this corpus of Chinese classical texts, can be described as studying classics.
Copleston, an Oxford classicist said that classical education "communicates to the mind...a high sense of honour, a disdain of death in a good cause, (and) a passionate devotion to the welfare of one's country".
Cicero commented, "All literature, all philosophical treatises, all the voices of antiquity are full of examples for imitation, which would all lie unseen in darkness without the light of literature".
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