Aristotle, Poetics (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Arist. Poet.].
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1456a.1 The fourth element is spectacle, like the Phorcides [Note] and Prometheus, and all scenes laid in Hades. One should ideally try to include all these elements or, failing that, the most important and as many as possible, especially since it is the modern fashion to carp at poets, and, because there have been good poets in each style, to demand that a single author should surpass the peculiar merits of each.

One must remember, as we have often said, not to make a tragedy an epic structure: by epic I mean made up of many stories—suppose, for instance, one were to dramatize the IIiad as a whole. The length of the IIiad allows to the parts their proper size, but in plays the result is full of disappointment. And the proof is that all who have dramatized the Sack of Troy as a whole, and not, like Euripides, piecemeal, or the Niobe story as a whole and not like Aeschylus, either fail or fare badly in competition. Indeed even Agathon failed in this point alone. In "reversals," however, and in "simple" stories [Note] too,



Aristotle, Poetics (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Arist. Poet.].
<<Arist. Poet. 1455b.20 Arist. Poet. 1456a.1 (Greek) >>Arist. Poet. 1456a.20

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