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p. 13119. The Artslocked

  • Jonathan Barnes

Abstract

The Poetics consists largely of the theory and criticism of tragic drama. Aristotle, however, saw the work as a contribution to ‘productive’ science, telling us how to produce a work of art. All art, Aristotle thought, is a matter of ‘imitation’ of human life, and, particularly, human action. ‘The Arts’ tells us that, of the six elements of tragedy Aristotle distinguished — plot, character, language, thought, spectacle, song — plot is the most important. It is through its plot that a tragedy will be ‘complete’, and will perform its purgative function. By its organic unity, and its implicit universality, the story works upon the feelings of the audience.

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