What is an epic and why does Aristotle consider it inferior to tragedy in Poetics?

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An epic is a long narrative poem that tells the story of a hero and the hero's deeds. The hero is often of noble birth, and their actions are of great significance to the culture or nation in which the story is set. Examples of epic poetry include Homer's Iliad and The Odyssey, Virgil's Aeneid, and Milton's Paradise Lost.

In his work Poetics, Aristotle argues that epic poetry is inferior to tragedy because it is less serious and less complete. According to Aristotle, tragedy is a more powerful art form because it deals with serious and important matters, such as human suffering and the downfall of noble characters. Tragedy also has a more complete narrative structure, with a clear beginning, middle, and end, while epic poetry can be more episodic in nature. Additionally, Aristotle believed that the characters in epic poetry are less complex and less fully developed than the characters in tragedy.

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