Poetics

Poetics


Translator: Malcolm Heath

Format
Paperback
Price
$13.00
 
  • Paperback
  • ISBN 9780140446364
  • 144 Pages
  • Penguin Classics
  • Adult

Overview

‘The plot is the source and the soul of tragedy’

In his near-contemporary account of 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 introduces 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, centring on characters of heroic stature, idealized yet true to life. One of the most powerful, perceptive and influential works of criticism in Western literary history, the Poetics has informed serious thinking about drama ever since.

Malcolm Heath’s lucid English translation makes the Poetics fully accessible to the modern reader. It is accompanied by an extended introduction, which discusses the key concepts in detail and includes suggestions for further reading.

Table of Contents

Translated with an Introduction and Notes by Malcolm Heath

Introduction
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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