‘The plot is the source and the soul of tragedy’ In his near-contemporary account of Greek tragedy, Aristotle examines the dramatic elements of plot, character, language and spectacle that combine to produce pity and fear in the audience, and asks why we derive pleasure from this apparently... show more
‘The plot is the source and the soul of tragedy’ In his near-contemporary account of Greek tragedy, Aristotle examines the dramatic elements of plot, character, language and spectacle that combine to produce pity and fear in the audience, and asks why we derive pleasure from this apparently painful process. Taking examples from the plays of Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides, the Poetics introduces into literary criticism such central concepts as mimesis (‘imitation’), hamartia (‘error’), and katharsis (‘purification’). Aristotle explains how the most effective tragedies rely on complication and resolution, recognition and reversals, centring on characters of heroic stature, idealized yet true to life. One of the most powerful, perceptive and influential works of criticism in Western literary history, the Poetics has informed serious thinking about drama ever since. Malcolm Heath’s lucid English translation makes the Poetics fully accessible to the modern reader. It is accompanied by an extended introduction, which discusses the key concepts in detail and includes suggestions for further reading.
Publish date: September 26th 1996
Publisher: Penguin Classics
Pages no: 144
Edition language: English
, Non Fiction
, Literary Criticism
IntroductionNote on the Texts and TranslationsSelect BibliographyA Chronology of AristotleOutline of the 'Poetics'--From Plato, Republic, Books 2, 3, and 10--Aristotle, Poetics--From Sir Philip Sidney, An Apology for Poetry--From P. B. Shelley, A Defence of Poetry--From D. L. Sayers, 'Aristotle on D...
Demystifies great plays and epic poetry by breaking them down into their necessary parts and describing what works, what doesn't and why. For that, five stars, but there is one thing I can't let slide."Even a woman may be good, and also a slave; though the woman may be said to be an inferior being, ...
Even art cannot escape Aristotle’s categorical dissection. This analysis of tragedy and epic poetry (as well as extant fragments on comedy) slices the works of tragedians and separates them into their primary parts. Like an entomologist pulling apart the wings of a butterfly to see beauty. It is ...
Where to start? Honestly, Poetics is one of those books that makes you admire the author while you want to strangle him. This work is highly influential, and you can see its influence in Western Literature in authors such as Shakespeare, Byron, and Miller. It also makes classical literature easy ...