Poetics Questions and Answers

Poetics

Aristotle attributes much of art to the intellect's amazing ability to recognize patterns and the human tendency to imitate. Humans clearly take pleasure in discovering likenesses, and according to...

Latest answer posted February 15, 2019, 10:27 pm (UTC)

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Poetics

Mimesis is a Greek term that means imitation. The first step in understanding Aristotle's account of mimesis is remembering that he spent many years studying at Plato's Academy. In Platonic...

Latest answer posted January 7, 2017, 10:38 am (UTC)

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Poetics

When Aristotle talks of the pleasures proper to tragedy, he is referring to the pity and fear elicited by a tragic play. On the face of it, it may seem somewhat strange to regard pity and fear as...

Latest answer posted January 14, 2021, 11:45 am (UTC)

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Poetics

Aristotle's explanation of "unity of time" appears in part five of Poetics. Here, Aristotle is explaining the difference between the tragedy and the epic. Within this discussion, Aristotle defines...

Latest answer posted July 27, 2013, 4:36 pm (UTC)

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Poetics

According to Aristotle, tragedy can be divided into six parts: mythos, ethos, dianoia, lexis, melos, and opsis. This refers to Greek tragedy plays. Tragedy is an imitation not only of a complete...

Latest answer posted December 5, 2012, 7:53 pm (UTC)

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Poetics

Aristotle's definition of tragedy is best seen in the quote: Tragedy, then, is an imitation of an action that is serious and complete, and which has some greatness about it. It imitates in words...

Latest answer posted April 25, 2013, 3:03 am (UTC)

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Poetics

Aristotle’s Poetics has many important features, from its influence on literary theory, to the notion of catharsis, to its description of the elements and rules of tragedy. Before the Poetics, no...

Latest answer posted March 8, 2018, 7:42 am (UTC)

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Poetics

Aristotle's Poetics is a work of literary criticism that attempted to understand the nature and effect of classical Greek drama and its role in the polis (city-state). As a descriptive work, it did...

Latest answer posted February 22, 2016, 1:21 pm (UTC)

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Poetics

In his Poetics, Aristotle defines tragedy as “an imitation (mimēsis) of an action that is serious, complete, and of a certain magnitude.” He asserts that any tragedy can be divided into six...

Latest answer posted November 17, 2018, 12:43 pm (UTC)

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Poetics

In Aristotle's Poetics, the text explains his theory of tragedy. (As a side note, Aristotle's defining of tragedy and the tragic hero is still used today.) According to the text, plot is the most...

Latest answer posted July 27, 2013, 4:11 pm (UTC)

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Poetics

Aristotle divided poetry into three main categories: epic, tragic, and comedic. These three genres can then be further separated into several sub-genres. In Poetics, Aristotle describes epic poetry...

Latest answer posted July 2, 2018, 4:06 pm (UTC)

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Poetics

Agamemnon's hamartia, or "fatal flaw," is presented in Aeschylus's play Agamemnon as hubris. Hubris is an Ancient Greek term that can have a somewhat fluid meaning depending on its interpretation....

Latest answer posted January 24, 2019, 5:36 am (UTC)

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Poetics

To determine the importance of poetry as opposed to history, the two genres should be considered in terms of their content. The good poet uses his or her art to provide the reader with a view of...

Latest answer posted September 7, 2011, 6:33 pm (UTC)

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Poetics

At the center of Aristotle's Poetics is the contention that nothing can be understood separately from it purpose (telos). He states that the goal of poetry is a certain type of pleasure; likewise...

Latest answer posted September 24, 2013, 5:09 pm (UTC)

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Poetics

Both Aristotle's Poetics and Plato's Republic X address the question of the nature of poetry and its affect on its audience, taking audience as both the individual citizen and the polis as a whole....

Latest answer posted September 4, 2012, 8:03 am (UTC)

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Poetics

According to Aristotle, poetry originated in the human soul from the “instinct of imitation” and “harmony.” First, the instinct of imitation is implanted in man from childhood, one difference...

Latest answer posted December 5, 2012, 8:09 pm (UTC)

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Poetics

[Please bear in mind that eNotes does not do students' assignments for them; I've edited your question accordingly.] The quotation in your question seems to be a paraphrase of a clause in the...

Latest answer posted February 11, 2013, 6:21 pm (UTC)

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Poetics

One mistake students often make when approaching Aristotle's Poetics is to assume that he understood poetry in the same way that we do. In fact, Aristotle defines "poetry" as any form of writing...

Latest answer posted January 23, 2018, 5:09 pm (UTC)

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Poetics

Because Aristotle defined tragedy as mimesis, loosely translated as the "imitation of action," and this action must be either probable or necessary, and it must have serious implications and be...

Latest answer posted January 30, 2012, 8:33 pm (UTC)

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Poetics

This is quite a relevant question. Think about how much debate right now centers on how movies and TV shows and the like impact us, the audience. That's what Horace and Aristotle were concerned...

Latest answer posted June 8, 2020, 4:34 pm (UTC)

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Poetics

The "law of probability" first appears Aristotle's Poetics in section I, part 7: And to define the matter roughly, we may say that the proper magnitude is comprised within such limits, that the...

Latest answer posted October 8, 2018, 5:53 pm (UTC)

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Poetics

According to Aristotle, both tragedy and epic are forms of imitation. Tragedy imitates directly by means of mimesis and epic both directly and indirectly by means of mimesis and diegesis. While...

Latest answer posted September 22, 2011, 9:35 am (UTC)

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Poetics

Plato often links poetry with rhetoric—to the degree that it is hard to separate the two in his works. However, we know that Plato's attitude toward poetry is mixed: he famously contrasts poetry...

Latest answer posted September 27, 2018, 5:37 pm (UTC)

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Poetics

Scholars are still debating what Aristotle meant when he introduced the idea of catharsis. However, he writes that: Tragedy [...] is an imitation of an action that is serious, complete, and of a...

Latest answer posted December 6, 2018, 5:31 pm (UTC)

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Poetics

[Please bear in mind that eNotes does not do students' assignments for them; I've edited your question accordingly.] The quotation in your question seems to be a paraphrase of the first sentence of...

Latest answer posted February 11, 2013, 1:40 pm (UTC)

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Poetics

There were three unities called for in tragedy, unity of time (24-hour period), unity of action (one story only), and unity of place, by which is meant the drama cannot change venues. For example,...

Latest answer posted July 25, 2013, 4:15 pm (UTC)

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Poetics

The term "hubris" in most literature classes refers to a particular element of the analysis of Greek tragedy in Aristotle's Poetics. According to this account, the typical protagonist or tragic...

Latest answer posted February 19, 2016, 12:48 pm (UTC)

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Poetics

This question appears to be prompted by a reading of Aristotle's Poetics, which contains the author's most famous remarks on mimesis. The Greek word mimesis, which provides the root for our word...

Latest answer posted March 14, 2012, 11:13 am (UTC)

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Poetics

First, one should note that Aristotle's concept of tragedy is based exclusively on how tragedy was performed in Athens in his own period; thus, his account of it might differ from one of a critic...

Latest answer posted August 29, 2016, 2:45 am (UTC)

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Poetics

Let's look at these three writers in chronological order. It would appear that Plato holds the view of poetry that most people today would have the least agreement with. To Plato, poetry is...

Latest answer posted February 25, 2019, 4:23 am (UTC)

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Poetics

"All men, by nature, desire to know." This quote, from Aristotle's Metaphysics, won't be found in the book in question, but it's a useful key to this answer and to the body of this philosopher's...

Latest answer posted November 30, 2018, 7:09 am (UTC)

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Poetics

#2 has given us a very definitive exploration of this important term. I suppose we associate it mostly in terms of our discussion of tragedies and tragic heroes, who have some kind of tragic flaw...

Latest answer posted September 8, 2011, 8:25 pm (UTC)

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Poetics

For Aristotle in the Poetics, mimesis, or imitation, springs from a basic human delight in mimicry. Aristotle's naturalistic approach to mimesis put him at odds with his teacher Plato, who saw...

Latest answer posted June 10, 2019, 6:48 am (UTC)

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Poetics

The English word catharsis comes from a Greek word that means "cleansing" or "purification." The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines catharsis as the following: purification or purgation of the...

Latest answer posted April 15, 2021, 3:13 pm (UTC)

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Poetics

Big question. I'll talk about only a couple general things. In the Poetics, Aristotle describes mimesis as imitation: mimesis can only produce certain features of its object. Plato's doctrine on...

Latest answer posted March 4, 2010, 2:31 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

Poetics

In order to examine Aristotle's ideology on tragedy and the audience, one should begin with his definition of tragedy. “A tragedy, then, is the imitation of an action that is serious and also,...

Latest answer posted July 26, 2013, 10:51 pm (UTC)

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Poetics

For Aristotle, the play should approximate or copy human and/or divine actions in mimesis—actions made intelligible and believable by laying them out in an orderly sequence. The implications of the...

Latest answer posted January 26, 2019, 1:12 am (UTC)

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Poetics

The "pleasure" of which Aristotle speaks is more of an appreciation of the beauty of a work of art that embodies tragedy. I think that Aristotle is bringing out the idea that art, while it can...

Latest answer posted January 4, 2011, 8:20 pm (UTC)

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Poetics

Although Aristotle's Poetics was written 2300 years ago, it remains a core text on the analysis of literature. Literary criticism provides ways to examine literature and Aristotle's Poetics offers...

Latest answer posted November 19, 2011, 10:46 pm (UTC)

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Poetics

In medicine, a purgative is something that rids our bodies of something unpleasant. Laxatives, for example, evacuate the bowels when some poor unfortunate individual suffers from constipation. For...

Latest answer posted November 9, 2020, 11:05 am (UTC)

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Poetics

The concept of hamartia is a major point in Aristotle's view of tragedy. Hamartia is a character's fatal flaw, the element of their personality which brings about their downfall by the end of the...

Latest answer posted January 24, 2019, 7:38 pm (UTC)

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Poetics

Aristotle characterises tragedy as possessed of a unity of action, time and place. Aristotle described unity of action as follows: “tragedy is an imitation of an action that is complete, and whole,...

Latest answer posted September 25, 2011, 6:14 pm (UTC)

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Poetics

The philosophical concept of aesthetics was nonexistent until the eighteenth century and, therefore, it did not exist in ancient times. Nevertheless, ancient Greek philosophers did consider and...

Latest answer posted February 18, 2020, 12:00 am (UTC)

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Poetics

Aristotle discusses tragedy at great length in his treatise known as The Poetics. A particularly crucial passage in that treatise contains the following statements: Tragedy is the imitation of an...

Latest answer posted August 26, 2011, 1:58 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

Poetics

Aristotle's main work about poetry is his Poetics. In this work, he attempts to explain the nature of poetry and how it functions in the polis. He divides poetry into two main types, epic and...

Latest answer posted March 10, 2016, 2:40 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

Poetics

Aristotle's theory of artistic imitation or mimesis distinguishes various different types of mimesis. First, one can imitate directly, by pure mimesis, as in tragedy, by diegesis or narration, or...

Latest answer posted December 7, 2012, 7:59 am (UTC)

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Poetics

The aphorism "Poetry…is a more philosophical and a higher thing than history" comes from Aristotle's Poetics. In order to understand what the great philosopher means, it is important to view this...

Latest answer posted October 9, 2019, 2:15 pm (UTC)

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Poetics

In his Poetics, Aristotle writes about two major types of Greek poetry, dramatic and epic. The treatment of dramatic poetry is limited to tragedy in the extant text; an additional book on comedy...

Latest answer posted November 10, 2012, 8:07 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

Poetics

In chapter 9 of the Poetics, Aristotle writes that poetry is a more serious matter than history and that it is closer to philosophy. This is because poetry, like philosophy, is concerned with the...

Latest answer posted August 20, 2021, 2:59 am (UTC)

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Poetics

Aristotle's Poetics was written in approximately 335 BC, in part to summarize the characteristics of the tragic plays from ancient Greece. One such characteristic that Aristotle noted was that...

Latest answer posted May 20, 2019, 7:41 pm (UTC)

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