Poetics
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Poetics

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Description

One of the most powerful, perceptive and influential works of criticism in Western literary history

In his near-contemporary account of classical Greek tragedy, Aristotle examines the dramatic elements of plot, character, language and spectacle that combine to produce pity and fear in the audience, and asks why we derive pleasure from this apparently painful process. Taking examples from the plays of Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides, the Poetics introduced into literary criticism such central concepts as mimesis ('imitation'), hamartia ('error') and katharsis ('purification'). Aristotle explains how the most effective tragedies rely on complication and resolution, recognition and reversals. The Poetics has informed thinking about drama ever since.

Translated with an Introduction and Notes by Malcolm Heath
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Product details

  • Paperback | 144 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 8mm | 112g
  • Penguin Classics
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Revised ed.
  • 0140446362
  • 9780140446364
  • 84,978

Back cover copy

Aristotle's Poetics is one of the most powerful, perceptive and influential works of criticism in Western literary history. A penetrating, near-contemporary account of Greek tragedy, it demonstrates how the elements of plot, character and spectacle combine to produce 'pity and fear' - and why we derive pleasure from this apparently painful process. It introduces the crucial concepts of mimesis ('imitation'), hamartia ('error') and katharsis, which have informed serious thinking about drama ever since. It examines the mythological heroes, idealized yet true to life, whom Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides brought on to the stage. And it explains how the most effective plays rely on complication and resolution, recognitions and reversals. Essential reading for all students of Greek literature and of the many Renaissance and post-Renaissance writers who consciously adopted Aristotle as a model, the Poetics is equally stimulating for anyone interested in theatre today.
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Table of contents

Translated with an Introduction and Notes by Malcolm HeathIntroduction
1. Human culture, poetry and the Poetics
2. Imitation
3. Aristotle's history of poetry
4. The analysis of tragedy
5. Plot: the basics
6. Reversal and recognition
7. The best kinds of tragic plot
8. The pleasures of tragedy
9. The other parts of tragedy
10. Tragedy: miscellaneous aspects
11. Epic
12. Comedy
13. Further reading
14. Reference conventions
Notes to the Introduction
Synopsis of the Poetics


POETICS



Notes to the translation
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About Aristotle

Aristotle was born at Stagira, in the dominion of the kings of Macedonia, in 384 BC. For twenty years he studied at Athens in the Academy of Plato. However he left on Plato's death and, some time later, became the tutor of young Alexander The Great.His writings have profoundly affected the whole course of ancient and medieval philosophy, and they are still studied and debated today.
Malcolm Heath has been Reader in Greek Language and Literature at Leeds University since 1991.
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Rating details

20,812 ratings
3.84 out of 5 stars
5 29% (6,060)
4 35% (7,363)
3 27% (5,624)
2 7% (1,433)
1 2% (332)
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