FACTOID # 1: Idaho produces more milk than Iowa, Indiana and Illinois combined.
 
 Home   Encyclopedia   Statistics   States A-Z   Flags   Maps   FAQ   About 
   
 
WHAT'S NEW
RELATED ARTICLES
People who viewed "Poetics" also viewed:
 

SEARCH ALL

FACTS & STATISTICS    Advanced view

Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:

 

 

(* = Graphable)

 

 


Encyclopedia > Poetics

Aristotle's Poetics aims to give an account of poetry. Aristotle does this by attempting to explain poetry through first principles (1447a13), and by classifying poetry into its different genres and component parts. The centerpiece of Aristotle's surviving work is his examination of tragedy. This occurs in Chapter 6 of "Poetics:" Aristotle (Ancient Greek: Aristotélēs 384–March 7 322 BCE) was an ancient Greek philosopher, a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. ... Poetry (from Ancient Greek: (poiéo/poió) = I create) is traditionally a written art form in which human language is used for its aesthetic qualities in addition to, or instead of, its notional and semantic content. ... In general usage, a tragedy is a drama, movie or sometimes a real world event with a sad outcome. ...

"Tragedy, then, is an imitation of an action 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." (1449b24-29, SH Butcher transl.)

He goes on to define the major characteristics of Greek dramatic structure. Greek theatre or Greek Drama came into its own between 600 and 200 BC in the ancient city of Athens. ...


This work combined with the Rhetoric make up Aristotle's works on aesthetics. Aristotles Rhetoric (or Ars Rhetorica, or The Art of Rhetoric or Treatise on Rhetoric) places the discipline of public speaking in the context of all other intellectual pursuits at the time. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...

Contents


Imitation or mimesis (chapter 1)

For Aristotle, poetry is a species of imitation or mimesis. (PP Poet.1447a16) Poetry uses different media, objects and modes in order to carry out an imitation. Species (used as a noun) in metaphysics are defined by their genus (genos) and differentia (diaphora). ... Mimesis (μίμησις from μιμεîσθαι) in its simplest context means imitation or representation in Greek. ... The Perseus Project is a digital library project of Tufts University that assembles digital collections of humanities resources. ...


For Aristotle mimesis is important for more than just aesthetic reasons. Michael Davis, a translator and commentator of the Poetics writes:

"Human [peculiarly human] action is imitation of action because thinking is always rethinking. Aristotle can define human beings as at once rational animals, political animals, and imitative animals because in the end the three are the same." ("Introduction" to the translation of Poetics by Davis and Seth Benardete p.xvii and p.xxviii, emphasis in original).

In this Aristotle seems to have one famous modern follower: Tolkien. See his "On Fairy Stories". Also see Merlin Donald's works. J. R. R. Tolkien in 1916, wearing his British Army uniform in a photograph from the middle years of WW1. ...


The medium, object, and mode of poetry (chapters 1–3)

Poetry has a medium, object and mode.

  • Aristotle gives some examples of medium: color and shape (PP Poet.1447a20), harmony and rhythm (PP Poet.1447a27), metered and un-metered speech (PP Poet.1447b8).
  • The object of poetry can be a certain kind of person with a certain kind of character. This character can be "either of stature or inferior" (PP Poet.1448a2).
  • The mode (sometimes translated manner) of poetry determines how the poem is delivered and by whom. One can deliver a poem like a bard telling the story of the Iliad using different voices, or tell a story using only one, or have lots of different imitators imitating different people as in a play. (1448a23-25)

The Perseus Project is a digital library project of Tufts University that assembles digital collections of humanities resources. ... The Perseus Project is a digital library project of Tufts University that assembles digital collections of humanities resources. ... The Perseus Project is a digital library project of Tufts University that assembles digital collections of humanities resources. ... The Perseus Project is a digital library project of Tufts University that assembles digital collections of humanities resources. ... The Iliad (Ancient Greek Ιλιάς, Ilias) tells part of the story of the siege of the city of Ilium, i. ...

The two causes of poetry (chapter 4)

Poetry is caused either by imitation and/or melody and rhythm (PP Poet.1448b5). When Aristotle discusses the causes of poetry, he notes that poetry improved through improvisation and gradual innovation. The Perseus Project is a digital library project of Tufts University that assembles digital collections of humanities resources. ...


The three genres of poetry

Aristotle taught that poetry could be divided into three genres: tragedy, comedy and epic verse.


Comedy (chapter 5)

Comedy is an imitation of what is inferior in such a way that it is laughable (PP Poet.1449a33). Although it is not quite clear what Aristotle means by inferior, we do know that he uses the word as an adjective for character. Comedians imitate those of an inferior character, whereas tragedians imitate those of superior ("better than the rest of us") character. Comedy is the use of humor in the form of theater, where it simply referred to a play with a happy ending, in contrast to a tragedy. ... The Perseus Project is a digital library project of Tufts University that assembles digital collections of humanities resources. ...


Tragedy (chapters 6–22)

Aristotle does not aim at giving a detailed account of tragedy, yet. That account is later found starting at PP Poet.1449b22. Aristotle merely points out how Greek tragedy evolved and then came to a resting point where it no longer underwent any changes. He brings up the innovations in theater that a number of tragedians, including Aeschylus, Euripides and Sophocles, introduced as examples. Much is made of how certain techniques can be used to cause certain effects in the audience. For example, a tragedian will want to portray suffering in certain ways to produce certain effects. Another significant notion running throughout this section is that of unity: tragedy must observe unity of action, space, and time. The Perseus Project is a digital library project of Tufts University that assembles digital collections of humanities resources. ... Tragedy is one of the oldest forms of drama. ... Aeschylus This article is about the ancient Greek playwright. ... A statue of Euripides Euripides (Greek: Ευριπίδης) (c. ... A Roman bust. ...


He distinguishes between simple and complex plots, complex plots having peripeteia, or reversal of situation, and discovery or recognition, where a character learns significiant knowledge, and regards complex as superior, especially when the peripeteia and discovery occur together, in the same scene. Peripeteia (Greek, ) is a reversal of circumstances, or turning point. ... Discovery, in literature, is a characters learning information that he had previously been ignorant of, when the learning is crucial to the plot. ...


Epic verse (chapters 23–26)

Epic is the same as tragedy except that epic "uses one verse-form alone, and is narrative" (PP Poet.1449b5). The epic is a broadly defined genre of poetry, and one of the major forms of narrative literature. ... The Perseus Project is a digital library project of Tufts University that assembles digital collections of humanities resources. ...


Influence of the work

Poetics was not influential in its time, and was generally understood to coincide with the more famous Rhetoric. This is because in Aristotle's time, rhetoric and poetry were not as separated as they later became and were in a sense different versions of the same thing. In later times, Poetics became hugely influential. The conception of tragedy during the Enlightenment especially owes much to Poetics. The Age of Enlightenment refers to the 18th century in European philosophy, and is often thought of as part of a period which includes the Age of Reason. ...


The Arabic version of Aristotle’s Poetics that influenced the Middle Ages was translated from a Greek manuscript dating from before the year 700. This manuscript was transmitted from Greek to Syriac and is independent of the currently accepted eleventh-century source designated “Paris 1741.”


The Syriac source used for the Arabic translations departed widely in vocabulary from the original Poetics, and it initiated a misinterpretation of Aristotelian thought that continued through the Middle Ages (Hardison 81).


There are two different Arabic interpretations of Aristotle’s Poetics in commentaries by Abu Nasr al-Farabi and Averroes (Abu al-Walid Ibn Rushd).


Al-Farabi’s treatise endeavors to establish poetry as a logical faculty of expression, giving it validity in the Islamic world. Averroes’ commentary attempts to harmonize his assessment of the Poetics with al-Farabi’s, but he is ultimately unable to reconcile his ascription of moral purpose to poetry with al-Farabi’s logical interpretation.


However, Averroes' interpretation of the Poetics was accepted by the West because of its relevance to their humanistic viewpoints, and at times, the philosophers of the Middle Ages even preferred Averroes’ commentary over Aristotle's actual meaning. This resulted in the survival of Aristotle’s Poetics through the Arabic literary tradition.


Translations

  • Thomas Twining, 1789
  • Samuel Henry Butcher, 1902: full text
  • Ingram Bywater, 1909: full text
  • William Hamilton Fyfe, 1926: full text
  • L. J. Potts, 1953
  • G. M. A. Grube, 1958

Thomas Twining (born January 8, 1735 in Twickenham, London, England; died August 6, 1804 at Colchester) was an English classical scholar. ... Ingram Bywater (27 June 1840 - 1914) was an English classical scholar. ...

References

  • Ari Hiltunen, 2001, Aristotle in Hollywood, Intellect Books, ISBN 1841500607
  • Hardison, O.B., Jr. “Averroes.” Medieval Literary Criticism: Translations and Interpretations. New York: F. Ungar Pub. Co. 1987. 81-88.

 
 

COMMENTARY     


Share your thoughts, questions and commentary here
Your name
Your comments

Want to know more?
Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:

 


Press Releases |  Feeds | Contact
The Wikipedia article included on this page is licensed under the GFDL.
Images may be subject to relevant owners' copyright.
All other elements are (c) copyright NationMaster.com 2003-5. All Rights Reserved.
Usage implies agreement with terms, 1022, m