Exploration Of Poetics: Aristotle Précis Essay

998 words - 4 pages

In Poetics, Aristotle examines poetry based on three aspects: the medium, objects, and mode of imitation. According to Aristotle, poetry has a natural rhythm and language that is used to convey various ideas. The maker or the poet creates the meter, which is either original or an imitation of previous works. It is part of human nature to imitate. While Aristotle does caution against imitation, he acknowledges that imitation can have value. There is comfort in creating likeness and imitation can create natural harmony and rhythm among similar pieces of art.
As he discusses various genres, such as Tragedy, it appears that the level and mode of imitation is contingent upon the genre. Each ...view middle of the document...

While there are often many parallels, Aristotle does warn that there is a distinct difference between poetry and history. While historical accounts detail what truly happened, poetry requires much higher philosophical thinking and tends to express more universal ideas. As a “maker” or poet uses historical events to develop plot, he should still be considered a poet because he is following poetic conventions. At the same time, this poet should be careful that his writing does not become episodic in nature, as weaker poets may be tempted to break a natural continuity to simply complete a plot according to what history dictates. Aristotle’s warning here outlines the difference between what he deems quality and not, based on the poet’s willingness to craft logically developed universal ideas or simply follow what has been dictated to him through history.
Throughout his writing, Aristotle acknowledges that art imitates actions in real life. This reflection creates a sense of recognition that moves viewers of art from a sense of ignorance to knowledge. Plots that are created to incite recognition in viewers in the moral sense should not inspire pity or fear; instead, plots that incite recognition should inspire great thoughts. Plots that inspire thoughts should be focused on one single issue, rather than many issues or episodes vaguely. While creating feelings in fear and pity in viewers should not be the overall purpose of a poetic piece, these feelings can still be invoked by the inner structure of a given work. In Oedipus, for example, different spectacular monsters and events result in terrible pain and strife for the hero. These complex stories result in a well-structure and complex plot that delivers an important moral lesson to viewers. This type of writing, according to Aristotle, is the right kind of quality plot.
In addition to a strong plot, characters must also be true to life and represent goodness both in the text and in the real world. Characters’ actions should, like within a plot, reflect behaviors that...

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