The lost second part addressed comedy. Preliminary discourse on tragedy, epic poetry, and comedy, as the chief forms of imitative poetry. Definition of a tragedy, and the rules for its construction.
But the more I researched good writing, the more I felt I was reading a lot of contemporary how-to and getting very little of the timeless basics of how to produce outstanding writing.
Aristotle believed that unchanging universal laws underlie all literature. The Poetics focuses on tragic literature, but I think we can all learn from his tips for outstanding plot construction and character development.
So are the laws that Aristotle identified still valid today? Scholars argue it, but I think they are. We as writers can learn much about our craft from the Poetics.
My goal here is to extract lessons we can take from the Poetics about how to write the highest quality tragic fiction. You can read the Poetics and other Aristotelian works here Project Gutenberg or here Tufts University or in many other places on the web.
During his research into tragic literature, which involved reading and attending hundreds if not thousands of tragic plays, Aristotle relied on his scientific nature to identify patterns and draw conclusions, observing what elements of drama had the most powerful effect on audiences and analyzing why that was so.
In his analysis, the plot is by far the most important component. Although some scholars say diction has to do with how the actor delivers the lines, as I read Aristotle, he clearly seems to be saying it has to do with the flow of the language, which involves rhythm and harmony.
This is discussed in much more detail in my much longer paper available simply by emailing me at the address below. It should deal in universal and general truths and principles such as choice, fate, or the nature of being human. As one scholar said, inspiring fear without pity produces a horror story, and eliciting pity without fear is essentially a tear-jerker.
Both genres have a place in the continuum of literature, but if the goal is to write a good drama then pity and fear must both be present. What we pity in others we fear for ourselves, Aristotle says.
An outstanding tragedian will lift that moment of insight into an experience of wonder, Aristotle says. A Plausible Sequence of Actions Because Aristotle considered plot the most important component of a tragedy, he had a lot to say about it.
Plot falls into two major parts: Action supersedes narration, and the actions must follow one another through necessity or at least probability.
Aristotle says a plot is most effective when the actions are both unexpected and logical. Achieve unity of plot, meaning that the action must revolve around a central theme. At least one major scene of suffering should be included, probably at the climax, since suffering is an essential part of a tragic story.
The scene should again be action based, showing a destructive or painful event. The climax should be logical but unexpected, casting a whole new light on the story, and clarifying the universal truth central to it.
Reversal means the point in a story when things go from good to bad or vice versa. Recognition is when a character is suddenly recognized, or identifies for the first time something important about him-or herself.
Both turn upon the element of surprise, and they can work together in one set of actions. One scholar says the proper order is to have a reversal that leads directly to a recognition that immediately leads to the climax, which should be the final scene of suffering. Catharsis offers release to an emotionally pent-up audience.
Catharsis is discussed in more detail in my paper.In his Poetics, Aristotle outlined the ingredients necessary for a good tragedy, and based his formula on what he considered to be the perfect tragedy, Sophocles's Oedipus the King. According to Aristotle, a tragedy must be an imitation of life in the form of a serious story that is complete in itself; in other words, the story must be.
Oct 19, · In his Poetics, Aristotle projected the theory of Catharsis as a reply to Plato’s objections to the tragedy. Catharsis refers to the effect of the tragedy on the human heart.
Catharsis means cleansing of the heart from the harder passions by arousing the feelings of fear and pity through the sufferings and death of a tragic metin2sell.com: English Literature. 1 Aristotle’s Theory of Tragedy poems, Aristotle saw this as one of Homer’s Tragedy in the Poetics Tragedy is the greatest virtues; while Plato thought tragedy principal subject of Aristotle’s Poetics and its has a harmful effect on the soul in that it feeds most discussed topic.
Oct 19, · In his Poetics, Aristotle projected the theory of Catharsis as a reply to Plato’s objections to the tragedy.
Catharsis refers to the effect of the tragedy on the human heart. Catharsis means cleansing of the heart from the harder passions by arousing the feelings of fear and pity through the sufferings and death of a tragic metin2sell.com: English Literature.
Aristotle's Outlining If the Ingredients Necessary of a Good Tragedy Story in His Poems.
2, words. 6 pages. 1, words. 3 pages. The Elements of Tragedy According to Aristotle, Robert Silverberg, Arthur Miller.
words. 2 pages. The Elements of Tragedy in Christopher Marlowe's Play Edward the Second. 2, words. 5 pages. Aristotle defines tragedy according to seven characteristics: (1) it is mimetic, (2) it is serious, (3) it tells a full story of an appropriate length, (4) it contains rhythm and harmony, (5) rhythm and harmony occur in different combinations in different parts of the tragedy, (6) it is performed rather than narrated, and (7) it arouses feelings of pity and fear and then purges these feelings through catharsis.