Page:Aristotle s Poetics Butcher.djvu/34

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ARISTOTLE'S POETICS

Definition of Tragedy. Six elements in Tragedy : three external, namely, Scenic Presentment (6 rrjs Sinews KOCT/LIOS or tf^Is), Lyrical Song (/j.{\oiroda), Diction (X^) ; three internal, namely, Plot (fj.v0os), Character (3)6os), and ThoughTT(3ici'oia). Plot, or the representation of the action, is of primary import- ance ; Character and Thought come next in order.

VII. The Plot must be a Whole, complete in itself, and of adequate magnitude.

VIII. The Plot must be a Unity. Unity of Plot consists not in Unity of Hero, but in Unity of Action.

The parts must be organically connected.

IX. (Plot continued. ) Dramatic Unity can be attained only by the observance of Poetic, as distinct from Historic Truth ; for Poetry is an expression of the Universal, History of the Par- ticular. The rule of probable or necessary sequence as applied to the incidents. Certain plots condemned for want of Unity. The best Tragic effects depend on the combination of the Inevitable and the Unexpected.

X. (Plot continued.) Definitions of Simple (da-Xoi) and Complicated ) Plots.


XL (Plot continued.) Sudden Reversal of Fortune (ire

Recognition (dvayvwpiffis), and Tragic or disastrous Incident (ird8os) defined and explained.


XII. The ' quantitative parts ' (/J^frrj Kara rb iroff6v) of Tragedy de- nned : Prologue, Episode, etc. (Probably an interpolation.)

XIII. (Plot continued.) What constitutes Tragic Action. The

change of fortune and the character of the hero as requisite to an ideal Tragedy. The unhappy ending more truly tragic than the ' poetic justice ' which is in favour with a popular audience, and belongs rather to Comedy.

XIV. (Plot continued.) The tragic emotions of pity and fear should

spring out of the Plot itself. To produce them by the Scenery or Stage Spectacle is entirely against the spirit of Tragedy. Examples of Tragic Incidents designed to heighten the emotional effect.

XV. The element of Character (as the manifestation of moral purpose) in Tragedy. Requisites of ethical portraiture. The rule of necessity or probability applicable to Character as to Plot. The ' Deus ex Machina ' (a passage out of place here). How Character is idealised.

XVI. (Plot continued.) Recognition : its various kinds, with examples.