Aristotle guide

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University of Toronto St. George

04:46 Aristotle (Poetics) To his coy mistressseduction under threat of death Aristotles view of the use of poetry was that poetry should be looked at more for its rhetorical value than the actual meaning of the content itself. More the way in which language is used and how it is used in order to effect the persuasion of the poem itself Poetry is fundamentally distinct, different from other art forms. It is made of words (of speech). His classifications: Epic, Tragedy, Comedy Tragedy is the highest form of poetry for Aristotle and Comedy the lowest These three genres differ in three ways: the medium under which they are presented, the object that they are discussing, and the manner in which they are presented Aristotlewe can differ between (recognize) poetry that portrays things as they are or were AND poetry that portray things that are said or thought to be AND poetry that portrays reality as it ought to be Tragedy: the imitationmimesis of action (plot), language, emotion (catharsis). Tragic poetry is inflating and embellished (linguistic elevation) In watching a person suffer a reversal of fortune, we are brought face-to-face with our worst fears, or vulnerability and mortality Effect-purging of emotions Elements: Plot, Character, Thought, Diction (in order of importance) Plot: the soul of tragedy The perfect tragic plot must be driven by ethics (concerns of morality and propriety) and the pathetic (passion). We cannot know for certain that we have a relationship between what is in the world, and what we imagine there to be Character: discloses moral purpose The demise of the tragic hero is brought upon them by their fatal flaw Essential features of tragic characters: goodness, propriety, fidelity to life, and consistency. Thought: the arousal of emotions and the ability to think clearlyrationalize and organize thoughts in a coherent and meaningful way The ability to say things that are pertinent and timely and imply a choice of action Diction: ability to use words (or more precisely their phonemic, morphological, and syntactic properties, as well as their potential for figurative expression) to convey meaning Sounds create a moodthe sounds of a word and the syllables used Tragic style: clearness of diction that is remote from commonness and partial conformity with usage Words represent action, words do things. (*I now pronounce you husband and wife)
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