Aristotle, Poetics (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Arist. Poet.].
<<Arist. Poet. 1460a.20 Arist. Poet. 1460b.1 (Greek) >>Arist. Poet. 1460b.20

1460b.1As it is, Homer conceals the absurdity by the charm of all his other merits.

The diction should be elaborated only in the "idle" parts which do not reveal character or thought. [Note] Too brilliant diction frustrates its own object by diverting attention from the portrayal of character and thought.

With regard to problems, [Note] and the various solutions of them, how many kinds there are, and the nature of each kind, all will be clear if we look at them like this. Since the poet represents life, as a painter does or any other maker of likenesses, he must always represent one of three thingsā€”either things as they were or are; or things as they are said and seem to be; or things as they should be. These are expressed in diction with or without rare words and metaphors, there being many modifications of diction, all of which we allow the poet to use. Moreover, the standard of what is correct is not the same in the art of poetry as it is in the art of social conduct or any other art. In the actual art of poetry there are two kinds of errors, essential and accidental. If a man meant to represent something and failed through incapacity, that is an essential error. But if his error is due to his original conception being wrong and his portraying, for example, a horse advancing both its right legs, that is then a technical error in some special branch of knowledge,



Aristotle, Poetics (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Arist. Poet.].
<<Arist. Poet. 1460a.20 Arist. Poet. 1460b.1 (Greek) >>Arist. Poet. 1460b.20

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