Aristotle, Poetics (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Arist. Poet.].
<<Arist. Poet. 1453b.20 Arist. Poet. 1454a.1 (Greek) >>Arist. Poet. 1454a.20

1454a.1So nobody does that, except occasionally, as, for instance, Haemon and Creon [Note] in the Antigone. Next comes the doing of the deed. It is better to act in ignorance and discover afterwards. Our feelings are not outraged and the discovery is startling. Best of all is the last; in the Cresphontes, [Note] for instance, Merope intends to kill her son and does not kill him but discovers; and in the Iphigeneia [Note] the case of the sister and brother; and in the Helle [Note] the son discovers just as he is on the point of giving up his mother.

So this is the reason, as was said above, [Note] why tragedies are about a few families. For in their experiments it was from no technical knowledge but purely by chance that they found out how to produce such an effect in their stories. So they are obliged to have recourse to those families in which such calamities befell. [Note]

Now concerning the structure of the incidents and the proper character of the plots enough has been said.

Concerning "character" there are four points to aim at. The first and most important is that the character should be good. The play will show character if, as we said above, [Note] either the dialogue or the actions reveal some choice; and the character will be good, if the choice is good.



Aristotle, Poetics (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Arist. Poet.].
<<Arist. Poet. 1453b.20 Arist. Poet. 1454a.1 (Greek) >>Arist. Poet. 1454a.20

Powered by PhiloLogic