Aristotle's Poetics

Core terms

  • Mimesis or "imitation", "representation," or "expression," given that, e.g., music is a form of mimesis, and often there is no music in the real world to be "imitated" or "represented."
  • Hubris or, "pride"
  • Nemesis or, "retribution"
  • Hamartia or "miscalculation" (understood in Romanticism as "tragic flaw")
  • Anagnorisis or "recognition", "identification"
  • Peripeteia or "reversal"
  • Catharsis or, variously, "purgation", "purification", "clarification"
  • Mythos or "plot," defined in Ch 6 explicitly as the "structure of actions."
  • Ethos or "character"
  • Dianoia or "thought", "theme"
  • Lexis or "diction", "speech"
  • Melos, or "melody"; also "music-dance" (melos meaning primarily "limb")
  • Opsis or "spectacle"

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