An Analysis of Aristotle's Poetics Essay

1790 Words Jul 30th, 2012 8 Pages
An Analysis of Aristotle’s Poetics
A square may be a rectangle, but a rectangle may never be a square. This idea is not complex, however when it is applies in Aristotle’s Poetics to the Greek Epics and Tragedies, it is suddenly not only applicable in an arithmetic context, but it gives a relevant and true breakdown of the commonalities and different components within these genres of literature. Within these poetics, Aristotle explicates the difference between an Epic and a Tragedy and defines the structure in which these must be composed. Not only does he articulate the manner in which this must be done, but he holds the poet accountable for each artistic choice and their adherence or diversion from this structure he has so clearly
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This implies that the plot of a Tragedy must be much more objective, furthering the distinction between the Epic and the Tragedy; however, this solidifies the classification of a Tragedy as a subcategory of an Epic poem. Further defining a Tragedy is the inclusion of the six vital parts of which it must be composed of: plot, character, diction, thought, song, and spectacle. According to Aristotle, the plot, or “structure of the incidents,” is of the utmost importance (VI). Plot is imperative because it must evoke fear and pity from the audience. Though many people believe it is the character that brings forth this emotion, it is actually the plot, the events and the structure of incidents that goad the character on to conjure this reaction. Essentially, this makes the character a marionette controlled by the structure of events; it is subsidiary to plot development because plot inherently creates the character. Although character is second to the structure of the incidents, thought the third vital aspect of a tragedy, is brought to the forefront through the choices of the character. Thought naturally exudes from the character and slowly reveals “moral purpose, showing what kind of things a mad chooses or avoids” (VI). Less pertinent, but still important to the expression of the Tragedy, is diction. Diction is “the expression of the meaning in words” that helps to amplify the

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