Aristotle’s Poetics Influence on the Ancient World

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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…show more content…
Thought literally deals with what is being said throughout the tragedy. It is assumed this category also includes the themes of a tragedy. Themes can be viewed as the overall lesson from the story. When the theme is thought about, emotions surface and are related to everyday life. Thought is shown whenever a point is proven or a truth is revealed. The power of saying whatever needs to be said at that point in time. The arts of politics and rhetoric fall under this category in tragedies as speeches. At times thought can be confused with character, but character exposes the moral purpose. Thought validates or invalidates a particular circumstance. The fourth point diction is the choice along with the use of words and phrases. In cases of tragedy this could be speaking or singing. It is the composition of lines recited that deal with how the lines are said. Verses that are fully understood and do not need explaining. Diction is easier to overcome when used in a tragedy even if it does not present a tragic effect. The fifth point melody is the utmost pleasurable piece of a tragedy. By definition a melody is a sequence of single notes that is musically satisfying. During a tragedy the melody is used as a musical accompaniment to blend with the play appropriately. Therefore according to Aristotle the chorus should be regarded as one of the actors (14). While the melody is a main component of tragedies, it is not even used within epics, therefore making

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