Poetics, by Aristotle

by Aristotle, 350 B.C.

I.

‘Imitation’ the common principle of the Arts of Poetry.

II.

The Objects of Imitation.

III.

The Manner of Imitation.

IV.

The Origin and Development of Poetry.

V.

Definition of the Ludicrous, and a brief sketch of the rise of Comedy.

VI.

Definition of Tragedy.

VII.

The Plot must be a Whole.

VIII.

The Plot must be a Unity.

IX.

(Plot continued.) Dramatic Unity.

X.

(Plot continued.) Definitions of Simple and Complex Plots.

XI.

(Plot continued.) Reversal of the Situation,

XII.

The ‘quantitative parts’ of Tragedy defined.

XIII.

(Plot continued.) What constitutes Tragic Action.

XIV.

(Plot continued.) The tragic emotions of pity and fear should spring out of the Plot itself.

XV.

The element of Character in Tragedy.

XVI.

(Plot continued.) Recognition: its various kinds, with examples.

XVII.

Practical rules for the Tragic Poet.

XVIII.

Further rules for the Tragic Poet.

XIX.

Thought, or the Intellectual element, and Diction in Tragedy.

XX.

Diction, or Language in general.

XXI.

Poetic Diction.

XXII.

(Poetic Diction continued.) How Poetry combines elevation of language with perspicuity.

XXIII.

Epic Poetry.

XXIV.

(Epic Poetry continued.) Further points of agreement with Tragedy.

XXV.

Critical Objections brought against Poetry, and the principles on which they are to be answered.

XXVI.

A general estimate of the comparative worth of Epic Poetry and Tragedy.

———

Conclusion

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