DRA 115 Study Guide - Final Guide: Aeschylus, Sophocles, Jargon

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7 Feb 2017
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Practical Poetics
1. What are the three kinds of knowledge? Define each and give an example of a discipline that
belongs to each. To which does drama belong?
Theoretical Knowledge: all disciplines whose end is “knowing” for its own sake. Absolute
answers are possible though not necessarily easily achieved. Math and the physical sciences.
Practical Knowledge: whose disciplines end is “doing” or achievement of a particular end. All
answers are relative. Medicine, religion, and philosophy.
Productive Knowledge: enterprise whose end is “making”. All answers are relative. Tragedy and
biscuit-making belong to this realm. All art, including Drama, also belong here.
2. What are the four methods of analysis found in the Poetics? Define each and explain how it
works and give an example of a place in the Poetics in which each form of analysis is used.
CAUSAL ANALYSIS - examines things make by human agency according to the four ‘causes’
which control that making.
Formal Cause: “Object of imitation” or simply “idea” It is the idea that guides the maker in
shaping materials to achieve that end. “Form follows function” before form can be achieved
there must be an imagined form that would fulfill that function.
Material Cause: “The means of imitation” 2 things can have the same form but are different
because of the materials that they are composed of. Ex: wooden table and a steel table.
Efficient Cause: “Manner of imitation” “making” things that are similar in form and materials may
still differ because of differences in the maker.
Final Cause: things may differ in terms of the end or purpose towards which they are composed.
This is when either the form fails or succeeds based on the material and maker and idea.
PART-WHOLE ANALYSIS - one determines all of the parts to a given whole and how they
relate to each other using induction, deduction, and the dialectical method. (a child taking apart
a clock to see how it works)
END-MEANS ANALYSIS - determines all the means to a given end through the use of
induction, deduction and the dialectical method. (a woman choosing between a coat, sweater,
or jacket due to the weather)
NORMATIVE ANALYSIS - logical process one determines the appropriate rank order for things
in a category according to the criteria by which the goodness of such things are usually judged.
The determination is made through induction, deduction, and the dialectical method.
3. What does Aristotle mean by “imitation?”
He means “making”, a made thing.
4. What does the “poet” imitate? Define each and explain how the imitation is achieved by the
poet.
A poet imitates the appearance of living people. Everything is analyzed by the 4 causes.
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