Day 5

Aristotle's Poetics Lesson Plan

Discussion of Thought Questions

  1. 1

    Aristotle says that a strong tragedy "will resemble a living organism in all its unity." What does he mean by this? How is a good story like a living being?

    Aristotle means that in a living organism, all of the parts work together so that the whole can live and thrive. A tragedy with all its pieces working well together will do the same. It may be useful to provide students with background on the notion of teleology: Aristotle held that organisms, like all things, served a particular function and were only good organisms insofar as they served that function. Just so, every element of a tragedy should contribute to its function of evoking an emotional response.

  2. 2

    Why does...

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