for achieving the spectacular effects the art of the costumier is more authoritative than that of the poet.
After these definitions we must next discuss the proper arrangement of the incidents since this is the first and most important thing in tragedy.
We have laid it down that tragedy is a representation of an action that is whole and complete and of a certain magnitude, since a thing may be a whole and yet have no magnitude.
A whole is what has a beginning and middle and end.
A beginning is that which is not a necessary consequent of anything else but after which something else exists or happens as a natural result.
An end on the contrary is that which is inevitably or, as a rule, the natural result of something else but from which nothing else follows;
a middle follows something else and something follows from it.
Well constructed plots must not therefore begin and end at random, but must embody the formulae we have stated.
Moreover, in everything that is beautiful, whether it be a living creature or any organism composed of parts, these parts must not only be orderly arranged but must also have a certain magnitude of their own;
for beauty consists in magnitude and ordered arrangement. From which it follows that neither would a very small creature be beautiful—for our view of it is almost instantaneous and therefore confused [Note]—nor a very large one,