How did Aristotle differentiate between history and poetry in Poetics?

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Aristotle differentiates between history and poetry in Poetics by saying that poetry has greater philosophical value than history because it expresses universal truths rather than merely relating specific events that have occurred.

History, Aristotle points out, is simply a record of events laid out in chronological order. This record does not generally convey moral lessons to the audience because there is no coherent structure and because cause and effect are often widely separated. He condemns the type of poet who merely versifies history, saying that poetry must organize events into a coherent plot.

The plots that a good poet creates, according to Aristotle, have a universal value that historical narratives lack. History records what has happened in a particular case, which may be unusual. Poetry suggests what may happen, or what generally happens, and therefore represents a synthesis of many historical situations, elevated to a universal plane and exercising a powerful emotional effect over the audience due to the skill of the poet.

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