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

1454a.20 But this is relative to each class of people. Even a woman is "good" and so is a slave, although it may be said that a woman is an inferior thing and a slave beneath consideration.

The second point is that the characters should be appropriate. A character may be manly, but it is not appropriate for a woman to be manly or clever.

Thirdly, it should be "like." [Note] This is different from making the character good and from making it appropriate in the sense of the word as used above.

Fourthly, it should be consistent. Even if the original be inconsistent and offers such a character to the poet for representation, still he must be consistently inconsistent.

An example of unnecessary badness of character is Menelaos in the Orestes [Note]; of character that is unfitting and inappropriate the lament of Odysseus in the Scylla [Note] and Melanippe's speech [Note]; of inconsistent character Iphigeneia in Aulis, for the suppliant Iphigeneia is not at all like her later character.

In character-drawing just as much as in the arrangement of the incidents one should always seek what is inevitable or probable, so as to make it inevitable or probable that such and such a person should say or do such and such; and inevitable or probable that one thing should follow another.

Clearly therefore the "denouement" [Note] of each play should also be the result of the plot itself and not produced mechanically as in the Medea and the incident of the embarkation in the Iliad.



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

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