Excerpt from Milton and Representative Short Poems: First Series
During the development of literature certain types met with such favor that they took on fairly regular forms and were classified in groups by critics, who, strange as it may seem, 'go almost as far back in the history of literature as the creators. The most famous and generally accepted of these classifications is that of Aristotle, the Greek philosopher and critic of the fourth century b.c., who divided poetry on the basis of its method of presentation by narrative, song, or action into epic, lyric, and dramatic. He was followed by the Italian critics and though there have been multifarious schemes presented since, his broad division is still generally accepted.
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