Aristotle, Poetics (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Arist. Poet.].
<<Arist. Poet. 1448a.20 Arist. Poet. 1448b.1 (Greek) >>Arist. Poet. 1448b.20

1448b.1Their word for action, they add, is δρᾶν, whereas the Athenian word is πράττειν. So much then for the differences, their number, and their nature.

Speaking generally, poetry seems to owe its origin to two particular causes, both natural. From childhood men have an instinct for representation, and in this respect, differs from the other animals that hs is far more imitative and learns his first lessons by representing things. And then there is the enjoyment people always get from representations. What happens in actual experience proves this, for we enjoy looking at accurate likenesses of things which are themselves painful to see, obscene beasts, for instance, and corpses. The reason is this: Learning things gives great pleasure not only to philosophers but also in the same way to all other men, though they share this pleasure only to a small degree. The reason why we enjoy seeing likenesses is that, as we look, we learn and infer what each is, for instance, "that is so and so." If we have never happened to see the original, our pleasure is not due to the representation as such but to the technique or the color or some other such cause.



Aristotle, Poetics (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Arist. Poet.].
<<Arist. Poet. 1448a.20 Arist. Poet. 1448b.1 (Greek) >>Arist. Poet. 1448b.20

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