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Aristotle’s Poetics Influence on the Ancient World Essay

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Aristotle presents the argument that tragedies are superior to epics. While tragedies and epics are characterized in similar ways they also have their differences. “A tragedy, then, is the imitation of an action that is serious and also, as having magnitude, complete in itself; in language with pleasurable accessories, each kind brought in separately in the parts of the work; in a dramatic, not in a narrative form; with incidents arousing pity and fear, wherewith to accomplish its catharsis of such emotions.” (Aristotle, 6) A Tragedy is better at arousing emotion in an audience than en epic through the plot, characters, thought, diction, melody, and spectacle.
The first point the plot is the arrangement of the incidents. The plot contains a structure of the beginning, middle, and end. Everything included consists of a cause and effect chain of events. The beginning, commonly known as the rising action, is all of the incidents leading up to the main point. While the rising action does not need to be dependent on anything before it, it leads to the middle. The middle, or the climax, must be an effect of the rising action and as the definition of climax the most exciting or important part of the plot. The last part being the end, or resolution is caused by the events before it. The resolution should solve the problem created throughout the tragedy. The plot must be complete and have unity. Meaning the cause and effects need to be structured in order to be understood. The magnitude of quantity verse quality also needs to be equal. The significance of the tragedies quality has to cohere to the length of the tragedy; While not being too short and consisting of enough themes to create a greater artistic value and increase the prosperit...


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...pic. A tragedy’s parts include the plot, characters, thought, diction, melody, and spectacle, which arouse more emotion than an epic. Although the highest importance of the six is the combination of the events involved within the story itself. Each component adds to the significance of a tragedy. Tragedy is an imitation of action and life that can portray emotions such as happiness and misery. Tragedies deal with events causing suffering or destruction and have hopeless endings usually concerning the downfall of the hero. These emotions draw the audience in and are permitted through the components of a tragedy, especially the story that is being told itself.



Works Cited

Aristotle. Translated by Ingram Bywater. The Poetics. Great Britain: Project Gutenberg, 2013.
Plato. Translated by Benjamin Jowett. The Republic Book VII. The Internet Classics Archive, 2009.



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