Aristotle, Poetics (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Arist. Poet.].
<<Arist. Poet. 1451b.20 Arist. Poet. 1452a.1 (Greek) >>Arist. Poet. 1452a.20

1452a.1since tragedy represents not only a complete action but also incidents that cause fear and pity, and this happens most of all when the incidents are unexpected and yet one is a consequence of the other. [Note] For in that way the incidents will cause more amazement than if they happened mechanically and accidentally, since the most amazing accidental occurrences are those which seem to have been providential, for instance when the statue of Mitys at Argos killed the man who caused Mitys's death by falling on him at a festival. Such events do not seem to be mere accidents. So such plots as these must necessarily be the best.

Some plots are "simple" and some "complex," as indeed the actions represented by the plots are obviously such. By a simple action I mean one that is single and continuous in the sense of our definition above, [Note] wherein the change of fortune occurs without "reversal" or "discovery"; by a complex action I mean one wherein the change coincides with a "discovery" or "reversal" or both. These should result from the actual structure of the plot in such a way that what has already happened makes the result inevitable or probable;



Aristotle, Poetics (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Arist. Poet.].
<<Arist. Poet. 1451b.20 Arist. Poet. 1452a.1 (Greek) >>Arist. Poet. 1452a.20

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