CONTENTS Unit 1: Aristotle: The Poetics—Introduction to the Author and the Text 1 Unit 2: Aristotle: The Poetics: Introduction, Tragedy 15 Unit 3: Aristotle: The Poetics-Catharsis and Hamartia 33 Unit 4: Aristotle: The Poetics: Ideal Tragic Hero, Comedy 45 Unit 5: Is There a Text in This Class—Introduction to Stanley Fish 52 Unit 6: Is There a Text In This Class—Stanley Fish: Analysis 59 Rather, as mentioned earlier, the action represented by tragedy is not the action of a single character; it is action in a much broader sense, a sphere “of life” in which the protagonist both acts and is acted upon. The social order must be restored and reaffirmed. All Hello, Sign in. This is essential reading – summarising A’s/translators? The protagonist should be written in such a way that the audience is motivated to empathize or identify with him because the overall aim of tragedy as a genre is to excite pity and fear in the spectator. He defines poetry as a 'medium of imitation' that seeks to represent or duplicate life through character, emotion, or action. Aristotle: Poetics, translated with an introduction and notes by M. Heath, (Penguin) London 1996 Aristoteles: Poetik , (Werke in deutscher Übersetzung 5) übers. Aristotle's Poetics The Drama Theory and Influence of the Poetics. A founding text of European aesthetics and literary criticism, it has shaped much of our modern understanding of the creation and impact of imaginative writing, including poetry, drama, and fiction. 2 Middle = stimulation of hamartia – tragic flaw; peripetiae – reversal of fortune; anagnorisis – moment of realization. Aristotle was the first theorist of theatre – so his Poetics is the origin and basis of all subsequent theatre criticism. THE LIFE AND WORKS OF ARISTOTLE BirthAristotle was born at Stagira in Macedonia in 384 B.C. Aristotle defines poetry very broadly, including epic poetry, tragedy, comedy, dithyrambic poetry, and even some kinds of music. The Ethics and Politics are devoted to the practical sciences. It’s past, the writers of the plays are already long dead, but they’ve survived and Aristotle is writing about them and highlighting their importance. According to Aristotle, tragedy arouses the emotions by bringing a person who is somewhat better than average into a reversal of fortune for which he or she is responsible; then, through the downfall or the hero and the resolution of the conflicts resulting from the hero's tragic flaw, the tragedy achieves a purging of the audience's emotions. José Angel García Landa, "Aristotle's Poetics" 2 2 1. Following this reversal of fortune, we have the reparation: in the best of tragedy, the character suffers the consequences of his mistake. To explain, it is a representation of a heroic action by means of elevated language and spectacle so as to arouse pity and fear and thus bring about a catharsis of those emotions. Image: Bust of Aristotle via Wikimedia Commons. The tragic element also arises from his status in society – because he is the king and what happens to him will have wide social repercussions. Greek drama 100 years past bits peak – time scales like these boggle our contemporary senses of time. Francis Fergusson's lucid, informative, and entertaining Introduction will prove invaluable to anyone who wishes to understand and appreciate the Poetics. Introduction. AN INTRODUCTION TO COGNITIVE POETICS Lecture 1: COGNITIVE POETICS BASICS (September 24-25, 2015) Presented by Svitlana Shurma (Kyiv, Ukraine) Email: The Art of representation, Th Greek Tragedy is here introduced using the Poetics of Aristotle. All action is interconnected. Introduction to Aristotle: 1) Background and works other than THE RHETORIC; 2) Introduction to THE RHETORIC. Every one who inquires into the nature of government, and what are its different forms, should make this almost his first question, What is a city? So if a character is mad and so behaves in a disordered fashion, that’s fine – but he can’t be mad in one scene and then sane in the next. ARISTOTLE'S POETICS: A READER'S COMMENTARY ON THE GREEK TEXT John T. Kirby Introduction 1. chapter 6.. 3 Or "in the style of ordinary people," without obvious rhetorical artifice.. 4 προαίρεσις is a technical term in Aristotle's ethics, corresponding to our use of the term "Will," the deliberate adoption of any course of … The best kinds of tragic plot 8. Therefore, imitation is not a low kind of business as Plato says. Even worse is to bad people acquiring good fortune, for such a situation causes irritation without arousing pity and fear. I was first told it was essential reading (to the point of it being an embarrassment not to … When living persons are represented, Aristotle writes, they are represented as being better than, worse than, or the same as the average. Plato's view of literature is heavily conditioned by the atmosphere of political concern which pervaded Athens at the time. Might it be that Ancient Greek sense of time was slower? 1741, designated as Ac. His father was a court physician to King Amyntas of Macedonia. José Angel García Landa, "Aristotle's Poetics" 2 2 1. Introduction: The most brilliant student at Plato’s Academy was Aristotle, who had come to Athens in 367 from his native Stageira in Macedonia to study with Plato. Barnes, Jonathan. An introduction to the first great work of literary criticism. A change in fortune should come about as a direct result of an action motivated by the protagonist’s tragic flaw. While a citizen is an end in itself, a noncitizen is means to an end. Therefore it’s a little unfair to describe his ‘tragic flaw’ as his own fault. Account & Lists Account Returns & Orders. 19 I have discussed aspects of the Poetics’ reception in three publications: Halliwell (1986) ch. Introduction Aristotle. A founding text of European aesthetics and literary criticism, from it stems much of our modern understanding of the creation and impact of imaginative writing, including poetry, drama, and fiction. Aristotle's Poetics contains his treatment of Greek tragedy: its history, naturne, and conventions, with details on poetic diction. Ed. Pity and fear will be provoked only if the protagonist’s fortunes go from good to bad. For Omnibus we just read Ethics and Poetics - I thoroughly enjoyed Poetics, but Ethics was a slog. Aristotle divides tragedy into six different parts, ranking them in order from most important to least important as follows: (1) mythos, or plot, (2) character, (3) thought, (4) diction, (5) melody, and (6) spectacle. The pleasures of tragedy 9. at the Greek colony of Stagirus, on the coast of Thrace. It’s arguably one of a handful of the most influential literary texts ever written, along with Hamlet and certain passages from the Bible. 17–28, and the Epilogue in Rorty (1992), pp. (Arthur Miller would later disagree, arguing that modern tragedy can and should depict the lives of ordinary people.) McLeish, Kenneth. Aristotle refers to catharsis as “purification,” and he argues it is the ultimate aim of tragedy.Tragedy is associated with fear and pity, Aristotle argues, and these are the emotions tragedy should provoke in the audience. Plot Analysis … Introduction. His Poetics was written in the 4th century BC, some time after 335 BC. We’ve offered a short recap of the plot of Oedipus Rex here. 20 Introduction Eventually he began giving his own lectures at the Academy. Prime. We pity Oedipus’ decline because, except for one or two faults, he is basically a good man. Aristotle (384-322 BCE)Born at Stagira in northern Greece, Aristotle was the most notable product of the educational program devised by Plato; he spent twenty years of his life studying at the Academy.When Plato died, Aristotle returned to his native Macedonia, where he is supposed to have participated in the education of Philip’s son, Alexander (the Great). Though the precise origins of Aristotle's Poetics are not known, researchers believe that the work was composed around 330 BCE and was preserved primarily through Aristotle's students' notes. His father, Nicomachus, was a physician who died when Aristotle was young. Tragedy must end on a note of equilibrium. For the Greeks, the idea of poetry as imitative or representational was a natural one because a great deal of Grecian art was representational in content. Search for: Aristotle: Politics (Book 3) CHAPTER I. Aristotle's Poetics is the most influential book on poetry ever written. Aristotle is very concerned with the knowledge gained by the spectator via his experience of theatre. Introduction to Aristotle ... His Rhetoric and Poetics, which provide the foundation for the study of speech and literary theory, are his contributions to the productive sciences. At age seventeen, Aristotle went to Athens, where he joined the Academy and studied under Plato. Poetics by Aristotle is “the first surviving work devoted to literary criticism”. Aristotle’s Poetics. An Introduction to the Work of Aristotle. Poetics by Aristotle: Introduction Aristotle's Poetics begins with the definition of imitation. |, Copyright © All Rights Reserved. Reversal and recognition 7. Introduction. An introduction to the first great work of literary criticism. In Poetics, Aristotle discusses poetry —both in general and in particular—and he also considers the effects of poetry on those who consume it and the proper way in which to construct a poetic plot for maximum effect. Eventually he began giving his own lectures at the Academy. 5.0 out of 5 stars 2. Introduction to Aristotle's Poetics. The establishment and deployment of a concept of genre lies at the basis of Aristotle’s enquiry; the main purpose of the … Aristotle’s Poetics is best known for its definition and analysis of tragedy, but his reflections also apply to the other arts because tragedy incorporates all of them. So it’s all about joining people, but also sort of trying to make them all the same, with the same ideas and adherence to the city-state, so they’d behave themselves. Aristotle’s definition of tragedy might be summed up as: an imitation of an action which has serious and far reaching consequences. A brief introduction to Aristotle and his popular work Poetics by SJ. I confess I’ve never read the entire thing, only bits and pieces. His Poetics is really an attempt to analyze those features that make some tragedies more successful than others. Astonishment refers to a tragedy’s ability to inspire ‘fear and pity.’ Pride has led Oedipus to kill his father, albeit without realising the man he kills is his father. Introduction Aristotle (384-322 BC) was a disciple of Plato and the teacher of Alexander the Great. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! Aristotle uses the analogy of painting to show how, in theatre, plot is far more important than character: ‘It is much the same case as with painting: the most beautiful pigments smeared on at random will not give as much pleasure as a black-and-white outline picture.’. He thinks that poet is a creator, not a mere recording device (imitator). Imitation is the reproduction through imagination. Introduction Aristotle (384-322 BC) was a disciple of Plato and the teacher of Alexander the Great. Aristotle's Poetics is the most influential book on poetry ever written. Aristotle: Aristotle's Poetics. Aristotle towers over the history of philosophy, having made fundamental contributions in many fields, among them logic, metaphysics, physics, biology, ethics, rhetoric, poetics, and politics. It's amazing that Aristotle still has much to say to our 21st-Century society if we're humble enough to receive it. PART ONE: BACKGROUND AND WORKS OTHER THAN THE RHETORIC Aristotle was a prolific writer who's works on rhetoric must be viewed in light of his other books. PART TWO: INTRODUCTION TO THE RHETORIC THE RHETORIC (HYPERTEXTUALIZED BY LEE HONEYCUTT) The RHETORIC is still held, by many (though not all) as perhaps the greatest extant treatment of the subject. Introduction 1. Poetics by Aristotle is “the first surviving work devoted to literary criticism”. People enjoy looking at accurate copies of things, he says, even when the things are themselves repulsive, such as the lowest animals and corpses. What makes a great tragedy? The analysis of tragedy 5. 9.1 Introduction. For example, flute playing involves the use of rhythm and tune, but dancing involves rhythm alone. Catharsis – spectator motivated to purge his own tragic flaw. Observation: we need to remember the theoros of both ‘theory’ and ‘theatre’: the act of adopting the role of the spectator in order to analyse something. The plot is the most important element in the tragedy because a tragedy is a representation of action. Imitation 3. The two most important elements of the tragedy and of its plot are peripeteia and discovery. Aristotle’s Life and Work Aristotle (Aristotelês) was born at Stagiros in Chalcidice, near Macedonia, in 384 BCE. Aristotle towers over the history of philosophy, having made fundamental contributions in many fields, among them logic, metaphysics, physics, biology, ethics, rhetoric, poetics, and politics. Comedy deals in the trivial and the inconsequential. Aristotle belongs to I had to grapple with Poetics and discourses such as those in the postgraduate classes of English Literature. Aristotle's Poetics for Screenwriters: Storytelling Secrets From the Greatest Mind in Western Civilization Michael … Aristotle Poetics: Editio Maior of the Greek Text with Historical Introductions and Philological Commentaries Leonardo Tarán , Dimitri Gutas This important new editio maior of Aristotle's Poetics, based on all the primary sources, is a major contribution to scholarship. Son of Nicomachus, the court physician to King Amyntas II of Macedonia, Aristotle was later to become tutor to Alexander, the grandson of Amyntas.The First Phase of His Life : Plato’s AcademyThe first phase of Aristotle’s… This is a good place to start, because here the distinction between subjects and predicates, on the one hand, and substances and >Introduction to Aristotle1. The end necessarily follows from what has gone before, but does not necessarily lead to further events. Previous section Study Questions. As I’ve been interviewing screenwriters, I typically ask what some of their influences are. The action here doesn’t mean a particular isolated action, but the entire course of action, not only what the protagonist does but also what happens to him through the story. Misfortune versus tragedy – there is unsurprisingly a very big gap between the way we view life and the viewpoint of the ancient Greeks. His actions are most significant to the plot (remember plot is primary over character). If you enjoyed this summary of Aristotle’s Poetics, you might also enjoy our brief history of tragedy. Components of Tragedy in Aristotle's Poetics, About Us Biographically, we can categorize his life into three periods: 1st Athens: 366-347BC. Dramatic poetry is a natural mode of imitation through language, rhythm and music. This means being a good (Greek) citizen. It is not that he separates action from its causal basis in character. The other parts of tragedy 10. The treatise provides ample evidence of Aristotle's unique and brilliant manner of thinking, and has had a profound influence on later attempts to understand what makes speech new translation of the text is accompanied by an introduction discussing the political, philosophical, and rhetorical background to Aristotle's treatise. Comedy represents inferior persons in that they are a laughable species of the ugly; Aristotle says "Comedy is … an imitation of characters of a lower type" (52). Interesting Literature is a participant in the Amazon EU Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to Plot is the most important element of a tragedy: the sequence of events and actions in a play. It's amazing that Aristotle still has much to say to our 21st-Century society if we're humble enough to receive it. End = catastrophe – hero suffers consequences. Aristotle's Poetics examines the essence of poetry and distinguishes its various species: epic poetry, tragedy, comedy, dithyrambic poetry, flute, regarded as representative of life. They should be consistent. That’s not going to tend towards the good: indeed, that’s got to mess everything up for the hero. The relief, or catharsis, of the emotions of pity and fear is the most characteristic feature of the Aristotelian conception of tragedy. Translated with an Introduction and Notes by Malcolm Heath. What is left of the labour of those olden days is hamartia, anagnorisis and perepeteia… Such powerful concepts! Aristotle starts with the principles of poetry, which he … Contact Us They are divided into different categories from one another by their means and their objects. The change needs to be logical and to have a clear cause, rather than be accidental. Fear then results from the realization of the audience that they, like the hero, can err and suffer. The comic character makes mistakes or is in some way ugly, but not so seriously as to awaken pity or fear. Aristotle neatly divides tragedy into the beginning, the middle and the end, and defines the beginning as that which does not necessarily follow anything else but does necessarily give rise to further action. He/she creates things and teaches us to see something in his creation that we never saw before. $34.95. Introduction to Aristotle. A discovery is a revelation of a fact previously unknown. This isn’t the happiest of endings; so, what’s the aim of tragedy? A further difference results from the Greek convention that a tragedy encompasses events taking place within a single day, while the time span of the epic poem was unlimited. Try. London: Phoenix, 1998. The tragic hero, consequently, should be one is better than the audience, but not perfect; the hero should suffer from a flaw that shows itself in some mistaken Judgment or act resulting in the hero's downfall. So, that deepens our sympathy for Oedipus, since what happens came about thanks to accident, or to fate – neither of which was ever in his control. The Four Causes. All of the protagonist’s or tragic hero’s habits must tend toward the good, except for one – the hero’s hamartia or tragic flaw. Aristotle’s conception of citizenship is elitist and hierarchical, because without noncitizens the system would not work. Privacy and Cookie Policy Aristotle exposes the Greek idea that all poetry, or art, is representative of life. Stephen Halliwell makes this seminal work newly accessible with a reliable text and a translation that is both accurate and readable. Nothing trivial, in other words, which is the domain of comedy. This precipitates the hero’s fall. … What follows are some notes towards a summary of, and introduction to, Aristotle’s Poetics – the first great work of literary criticism in the Western world. Aristotle states, "Imitation, then, is one instinct of our nature" (52). Aristotle belongs to a later age, in which the role of Athens as a secondary minor power seems definitely … And yet to give you an idea of how much great Greek drama we have lost – that has not survived down the ages – Oedipus Rex only came second at that year’s City Dionysia. Thus the structure of events, the plot, is the goal of tragedy, and the goal is the greatest thing of all.’ What Aristotle is saying here is, essentially, that the actions of the character influence the character, so action – plot – comes first because it colours the character. Aristotle appears to be … 2 Cf. It is a powerful human communication and the thing imitated is something that defines human realm. Plato's view of literature is heavily conditioned by the atmosphere of political concern which pervaded Athens at the time. The middle follows the beginning and gives rise to the end. This wider sense … Aristotle's Poetics seeks to address the different kinds of poetry, the structure of a good poem, and the division of a poem into its component parts. The most effective tragedy, according to Aristotle, results from a plot that combines peripety and discovery in a single action. Literary Theory 1 Aristotle The Four Causes. There he remained, first as a pupil, later as an associate, for the next twenty years. The play is bound up with the idea of fate. 10, (1987) pp. The Cambridge Companion to Aristotle. Character is second to plot in terms of its importance. Aristotle’s subsequent comments in the Poetics help us to answer this question. Peripeteia signifies a change of a situation into its opposite state of fortune—in tragedy, a change from a good state of affairs to the bad. He explores each component part of poetry separately and addresses any questions that come up in the process. at the Greek colony of Stagirus, on the coast of Thrace. The opening sections of the Poetics are quite confusing. | Popular pages: Poetics. However, it’s possible to argue that Oedipus’ tragic flaw is his pride. The mention of genres brings us to the third, and in some ways the most important, element of the Poetics which deserves to be highlighted in an introduction. Aristotle's Poetics combines a complete translation of the Poetics with a running commentary, printed on facing pages, that keeps the reader in continuous contact with the linguistic and critical subtleties of the original while highlighting crucial issues for students of literature and literary theory. That said, it was worth slogging. So, what does Aristotle say? Retrouvez Poetics et des millions de livres en stock sur Because the spectator empathizes with the protagonist, he will be led to recognize his own tragic flaw whatever that may be – and he will want to root it out so that he does not end in the same way as the fallen hero. Oedipus Rex is Aristotle’s example of a great tragedy. Catharsis is the process of feeling and therefore purifying one’s body of strong emotion, particularly fear and pity. If there is no imitation, life is mere oblivion without traces. Personally though I didn’t subscribe to the Aristotelian concept of greatness, for which I was put to task by the Professor Emeritus. The characters exist for the sake of the action, not the action for sake of the characters. The anagnorisis hit me a bit late, you see. This includes rhythm, language, and tune; but not all the arts involve all three, nor are these means used in the same way. Notes on Criticism of Aristotle - Even after having been under the tutelage of Plato, Aristotle grows to be anti-Plato. Just thinking. Tragedy imitates an action performed by a person primarily for the sake of the actions they perform, rather than out of any interest in the psychology of character: ‘For tragedy is an imitation not of men but of a life, an action, and they have moral quality in accordance with their characters but are happy or unhappy in accordance with their actions; hence they are not active in order to imitate their characters, but they include the characters along with the actions for the sake of the latter. Paperback. "Rhetoric and Poetics." Action signifies only to what consciously chosen and capable of finding completion in the achievement of some purpose. In order for plot to function, it not only needs the essential concepts from the previous chapters, but the subsequent components as well: astonishment, reversal (or peripeteia), recognition, and suffering. Aristotle defines tragedy as: "an imitation that is serious, complete, and of a certain magnitude; in language embellished with each kind of artistic ornament, the several kinds being found in separate parts of the play; in the form of action, not of narrative; through pity and fear effecting the proper purgation of these emotions." Tragedy will represent a complete action – a clear beginning, middle and end. The origin of poetry is explained by Aristotle as the natural consequence of humanity's love of imitation, tune, and rhythm. The Poetics offers an analysis of how poetry, and particularly Greek tragedy, functions. Unlike Plato, Aristotle believes the state doesn’t only have the function of providing good material lives, but, also, have a function of making an individual virtuous and give him/her a dignified life. Plot: the basics 6. A character’s aims must be good; they must be appropriate; there should be a likeness to human nature in general. Enter your email address to subscribe to this site and receive notifications of new posts by email. Aristotle's Poetics (Dramabook,) (9780809005277): Aristotle, Butcher, S. H., Fergusson, Francis: Books ... Logic as a Liberal Art: An Introduction to Rhetoric and Reasoning Rollen Edward Houser. Aristotle will now discuss diction and reasoning , although he covers reasoning more thoroughly in his book Rhetoric . By Aristotle… dry style like this is a worthy feat. Epic poetry differs from tragedy in that it has a single meter and is narrative in form. Thanks for the crisp recap. Human culture, poetry and the Poetics 2. But the Poetics itself is still with us, in all its suggestiveness, for the modern reader to make use of in his turn and for his own purposes. if we keep in view the ethical importance of emotions for Aristotle, the Poetics’ treatment of tragic pity and fear as the basis of a special form of pleasure (53b10–13), and, finally, the wider principle that the pleasure derived from mimetic works of art rests on an underlying process of comprehension. ‘Tragedy imitates the actions of the best people in society, and comedy the worst sorts of people in society’. Thus, what happens to him is tragic. Also, there is a significant emphasis on the word serious for, like comedy, tragedy, for Aristotle, can’t have comic elements. An Introduction to the Work of Aristotle. For Aristotle, imitation is productive action. a conception of artistic form which relates it to the organic forms crucial to his understanding of nature (50b34–51a6). Aristotle did not seem quite to share Plato’s fascination with the arts, but ancient sources list several treatises and dialogues on the topic: On Poets (a dialogue not to be confused with the Poetics), Homeric Questions, On Beauty, On Music and Questions Concerning Poetics.