Let [Note] us here deal with Poetry, its essence and its several species, with the characteristic function of each species and the way in which plots must be constructed if the poem is to be a success; and also with the number and character of the constituent parts of a poem, and similarly with all other matters proper to this same inquiry; and let us, as nature directs, begin first with first principles.
Epic poetry, then, and the poetry of tragic drama, and, moreover, comedy and dithyrambic poetry, and most flute-playing and harp-playing, these, speaking generally, may all be said to be "representations of life." [Note]
But they differ one from another in three ways: either in using means generically different [Note] or in representing different objects or in representing objects not in the same way but in a different manner.
For just as by the use both of color and form people represent many objects, making likenesses of them—