Aristotle's Poetics

Aristotle's Poetics Essay Questions

  1. 1

    According to Aristotle, how do tragedies, comedies, and epic poetry differ in their uses of imitation? Do they ultimately have the same goal in their imitation or must all three be judged by different standards?

  2. 2

    For Aristotle, what constitutes an "irrational" error in a text? Is such an error always going to compromise the integrity of the entire work?

  3. 3

    Catharsis has been a hot topic amongst scholars for centuries, because they often find it too abstractly emotional. How does Aristotle present catharsis as an element in terms of plot?

  4. 4

    Define six elements requisite for a successful tragedy.

  5. 5

    Why is plot more important than character or speech in a tragedy?

  6. 6

    Is the tragic hero a paragon of virtue and morality? What qualities must you find in a tragic hero?

  7. 7

    What are the three types of imitation? Give an example of each from either ancient or contemporary art.

  8. 8

    How is reversal different from recognition? Can you have one without the other?

  9. 9

    In Aristotle's view, which is the superior art form, epic tragedy or poetry? Give three reasons backing up his choice.

  10. 10

    According to Aristotle, why did poetry emerge as an art form?

  11. 11

    What is the 'soul' of tragedy? Explain why Aristotle singles out one concept as the essence of the art form.