Page:Aristotle s Poetics Butcher.djvu/33

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AEISTOTLE'S POETICS

ANALYSIS OF CONTENTS

I. Imitation (μίμησις) the common principle of the Arts of Poetry, Music, Dancing, Painting, and Sculpture. These Arts distinguished according to the Medium or material Vehicle, the Objects, and the Manner of Imitation. The Medium of Imitation is Rhythm, Language, and 'Harmony' (or Melody), taken singly or combined.

II. The Objects of Imitation.

Higher or lower types are represented in all the Imitative Arts. In Poetry this is the basis of the distinction between Tragedy and Comedy.

III. The Manner of Imitation.

Poetry may be in form either dramatic narrative, pure narrative (including lyric poetry), or pure drama. A digression follows on the name and original home of the Drama.

IV. The Origin and Development of Poetry.

Psychologically, Poetry may be traced to two causes, the instinct of Imitation, and the instinct of 'Harmony' and Rhythm.

Historically viewed, Poetry diverged early in two directions: traces of this twofold tendency are found in the Homeric poems: Tragedy and Comedy exhibit the distinction in a developed form.

The successive steps in the history of Tragedy are enumerated.

V. Definition of the Ludicrous (τὸ γελοῖον), and a brief sketch of the rise of Comedy. Points of comparison between Epic Poetry and Tragedy. (The chapter is fragmentary.)