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

1454b.1 [Note] The "god in the car" [Note] should only be used to explain what lies outside the play, either what happened earlier and is therefore beyond human knowledge, or what happens later and needs to be foretold in a proclamation. For we ascribe to the gods the power of seeing everything. There must, however, be nothing inexplicable in the incidents, or, if there is, it must lie outside the tragedy. There is an example in Sophocles' Oedipus. [Note]

Since tragedy is a representation of men better than ourselves we must copy the good portrait-painters who, while rendering the distinctive form and making a likeness, yet paint people better than they are. It is the same with the poet. When representing people who are hot-tempered or lazy, or have other such traits of character, he should make them such, yet men of worth [an example of hardness] [Note]; take the way in which Agathon and Homer portray Achilles.

Keep, then, a careful eye on these rules and also on the appeal to the eye [Note] which is necessarily bound up with the poet's business; for that offers many opportunities of going wrong. But this subject has been adequately discussed in the published treatises. [Note]

What a "Discovery" is has been already stated. [Note]



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

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