Poetics by Aristotle

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Poetics Read Online Free - ‘The plot is the source and the soul of tragedy’

In his near-contemporary account of Greek tragedy, Aristotle examines the dramatic elements of plot, character, language and spectacle that combine to produce pity and fear in the audience, and asks why we derive pleasure from this apparently painful process. Taking examples from the plays of Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides, The Poetics introduces into literary criticism such central concepts as mimesis (‘imitation’), hamartia (‘error’), and katharsis (‘purification’). Aristotle explains how the most effective tragedies rely on complication and resolution, recognition and reversals, centring on characters of heroic stature, idealized yet true to life. One of the most powerful, perceptive and influential works of criticism in Western literary history, the Poetics has informed serious thinking about drama ever since.

Malcolm Heath’s lucid English translation makes the Poetics fully accessible to the modern reader. It is accompanied by an extended introduction, which discusses the key concepts in detail and includes suggestions for further reading.

Title : Poetics
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 0140446362
Edition Language : English
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 62 pages


Glenn rated it ★★★★★

December 29, 2016

During the golden age of ancient Greece bards roamed the countryside mesmerizing crowds by reciting the epics of Homer. Thousands of men and women gathered and were moved to tears by tragedies performed outside in amphitheaters during sacred festivals. Such an amazingly powerful and profound expe...

Bookdragon Sean rated it ★★★★★

March 26, 2017

It’s odd that the most ancient essay on literary criticism is one of the easiest to understand. It is so accessible. If you compare this to works by Nietzsche, Hegel and Freud the extremities of this can easily be seen. Aristotle explains his theory in the most basic language possible with no art...

Trevor rated it ★★★★★

December 02, 2009

This is perhaps my favourite philosopher of the Ancient world chatting about literary criticism – it doesn’t really get too much better than this. Plato, of course, wanted to banish all of the artists from his ideal republic. He wanted to do this because the world we live in is a poor copy of the...

Bill rated it ★★★★★

January 03, 2018

If you want to learn about tragedy--or narrative in general--this is still the best place to start.

Riku rated it ★★★★★

January 21, 2015

This is the best commentary I could find on The Poetics. Bywater's is a much better translation and immensely readable, except for the places where he employs the Greek without transliteration. A good strategy could be to keep to Bywater for a first read, and then use Whalley's idiosyncratic and...

Edward rated it ★★★★☆

February 15, 2016

Introduction Note on the Texts and Translations Select Bibliography A Chronology of Aristotle Outline of the 'Poetics' --From Plato, Republic, Books 2, 3, and 10 --Aristotle, Poetics --From Sir Philip Sidney, An Apology for Poetry --From P. B. Shelley, A Defence of Poetry --From D. L. Sayers, 'Aristotle o...

J.G. Keely rated it ★★★★☆

January 15, 2013

There's something terribly edifying when, having created your own rubric for how books should be judged, you happen to pick up the work from which all literary criticism arose and find that you and Aristotle have independently produced the same system for judgment. I know it probably just trickle...

Mahdi rated it ★★★★★

October 29, 2017

تنها چیزی که بهش فکر میکنم اینه که ارسطو 2 هزار و پونصد سال پیش به چه گفتمانهایی رسیده بوده... واقعاً جالبه!

Fabian rated it ★★★★★

June 19, 2017

Here is a rudimentary tablet of knowledge by one of the greats. First off, it is somewhat incredible to concede the year that this was written, and that almost 2,400 years later we are still eager to explore poetics that are in this aged article so clearly defined. Aristotle exalts the poet and h...

Teresa rated it ★★★☆☆

February 07, 2017

Como obra de estudo é preciosa; como entretenimento não é muito indicada. Porque já estou numa idade em que me interessa mais a diversão que o conhecimento, não me esforcei para a compreender; a partir de metade desisti de ler as abundantes notas de rodapé e desperdicei a oportunidade de apreciar...

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