ARISTOTLE'S POETICS: SUMMARY NOTES Aristotle's Poetics would seem to be the least controversial of our overviews, since many of his texts seemed to have survived or been reconstructed to the point that they may be taken as evidence. Nevertheless, the framework for understanding Aristotle, the subject of our other overviews, is fragmented and reliant on indirect evidence of many kinds. Thus, as with our other 'fast and dirty' overviews, this very concise summary of terms is intended as a provisory introduction, something to provide a starting point for a bit more investigation in week one. There is much more to discover about Aristotle than indicated below and the purpose of this exercise is to fill out this information, in terms of both elaboration and, where evident, controversy!
Therefore, I suggest that you read all of the four overviews in our activity, browse the activity tasks, and then begin the activity described at the bottom of this page, which will ask you to select, request, and then explore an article or website relating a specific point in one of our overviews and then come back to the classroom to summarize your findings in a brief text, noting any discrepancies or elaboration on the information below that seems significant.
Summary of selected points from the Poetics. Aristotle's Dramatic Genre Epic, Tragedy and Comedy are all modes of imitation but differ in their medium, objects and manner of imitation.
Medium (or means): Rhythm, language, harmony.
Objects: Actions of agents who are good men or bad men, men above our own level of moral goodness or below it (Tragedy and Comedy respectively).
Manner: The poet may speak as narrator in one moment and as character in the next or may remain the same throughout; or the poet may represent the story dramatically, as if the persons were actually doing the things described. (Poetics, 1.I-III)
Origin of Poetry Origin of Poetry: The...