Page:Aristotle s Poetics Butcher.djvu/119

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Or, if for the line,

"δίφρον ἀεικέλιον καταθεὶς ὀλίγην τε τράπεζαν (diphron aeikelion katatheis oligen te trapezan),

"Setting an unseemly couch and a meager table, "

we read,

"δίφρον μοχθηρὸν καταθεὶς μικράν τε τράπεζαν (diphron mochtheron katatheis mikran te trapezan).

"Setting a wretched couch and a puny table. "

Or, for ‘ἠιόνες βοόωσιν’ (eiones booosin), 'the sea shores roar,' ἠιόνες κράζουσιν (eiones krazousin), 'the sea shores screech.'

Again, Ariphrades ridiculed the tragedians for using phrases which no one would employ in ordinary speech: for example, ‘δωμάτων ἄπο’ (domaton apo), 'from the house away,' instead of ‘ἀπὸ δωμάτων’,(apo domaton), 'away from the house;' ‘σέθεν’ (sethen), ‘ἐγὼ δέ νιν’, (ego de nin), 'to thee, and I to him;' ‘Ἀχιλλέως πέρι’ (Achilleos peri), 'Achilles about,' instead of ‘περὶ Ἀχιλλέως’ (peri Achilleos), 'about Achilles;' and the like. It is precisely because such phrases are not part of the current idiom that they give distinction to the style. This, however, he failed to see.

It is a great matter to observe propriety in these several modes of expression, as also in compound words, strange (or rare) words, and so forth. But the greatest thing by far is to have a command of metaphor. This alone cannot be imparted by another; it is the mark of genius, for to make good metaphors implies an eye for resemblances.

Of the various kinds of words, the compound are best adapted to dithyrambs, rare words to heroic poetry, metaphors to iambic. In heroic poetry, indeed, all these varieties are serviceable. But in iambic verse, which reproduces, as far as may be, familiar speech, the most appropriate words are those which are found even in prose. These are the current or proper, the metaphorical, the ornamental.

Concerning Tragedy and imitation by means of action this may suffice.