Aristotle, Poetics (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Arist. Poet.].
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1454b.20As for kinds of Discovery, first comes the least artistic kind, which is largely used owing to incompetence—discovery by tokens. These may be congenital, like "the spear the Earth-born bear" or stars, like those which Carcinus [Note] uses in his Thyestes [Note]; or they may be acquired and these may be on the body, for instance, wounds, or external things like necklaces, and in the Tyro [Note] the discovery by means of the boat. There is a better and a worse way of using these tokens; for instance Odysseus, by means of his wound, was discovered in one way by the nurse and in another way by the swine-herds. [Note] Discovery scenes constructed to prove the point are inartistic and so are all such scenes, but those are better which arise out of a reversal scene, as, for instance, in "The Washing." [Note] In the second place come those which are manufactured by the poet and are therefore inartistic. For instance, in the Iphigeneia [Note] Orestes revealed himself. She was revealed to him through the letter, but Orestes says himself what the poet wants and not what the plot requires. So this comes near to the fault already mentioned, for he might just as well have actually brought some tokens. [Note] And there is "the voice of the shuttle" [Note] In Sophocles' Tereus.

The third kind is due to memory, to showing distress on seeing something.



Aristotle, Poetics (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Arist. Poet.].
<<Arist. Poet. 1454b.1 Arist. Poet. 1454b.20 (Greek) >>Arist. Poet. 1455a.1

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