- STAFF PICKS
- GIFTS + GIFT CARDS
- SELL BOOKS
- FIND A STORE
Used Trade Paper
Ships in 1 to 3 days
This title in other editions
Other titles in the Penguin Classics series:
Poetics (Penguin Classics)by Aristotle
Synopses & Reviews
‘The plot is the source and the soul of tragedy’
In his near-contemporary account of Greek tragedy, Aristotle examines the dramatic elements of plot, character, language and spectacle that combine to produce pity and fear in the audience, and asks why we derive pleasure from this apparently painful process. Taking examples from the plays of Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides, the Poetics introduces into literary criticism such central concepts as mimesis (‘imitation’), hamartia (‘error’), and katharsis (‘purification’). Aristotle explains how the most effective tragedies rely on complication and resolution, recognition and reversals, centring on characters of heroic stature, idealized yet true to life. One of the most powerful, perceptive and influential works of criticism in Western literary history, the Poetics has informed serious thinking about drama ever since.
Malcolm Heath’s lucid English translation makes the Poetics fully accessible to the modern reader. It is accompanied by an extended introduction, which discusses the key concepts in detail and includes suggestions for further reading.
This is a translation of Aristotle's "Poetics", an account of Greek tragedy, which demonstrates how the elements of plot, character and spectacle combine to produce "pity and fear", and why pleasure is derived from this apparently painful process.
Aristotle's Poetics is one of the most powerful, perceptive and influential works of criticism in Western literary history. A penetrating, near-contemporary account of Greek tragedy, it demonstrates how the elements of plot, character and spectacle combine to produce 'pity and fear' - and why we derive pleasure from this apparently painful process. It introduces the crucial concepts of mimesis ('imitation'), hamartia ('error') and katharsis, which have informed serious thinking about drama ever since. It examines the mythological heroes, idealized yet true to life, whom Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides brought on to the stage. And it explains how the most effective plays rely on complication and resolution, recognitions and reversals. Essential reading for all students of Greek literature and of the many Renaissance and post-Renaissance writers who consciously adopted Aristotle as a model, the Poetics is equally stimulating for anyone interested in theatre today.
Includes bibliographical references (p. lxiv-lxvi).
About the Author
Aristotle was born at Stageira, in the dominion of the kings of Macedonia, in 384 BC. For twenty years he studied at Athens in the Academy of Plato, on whose death in 347 he left, and, some time later, became tutor of the young Alexander the Great. When Alexander succeeded to the throne of Macedonia in 335, Aristotle returned to Athens and established his school and research institute, the Lyceum, to which his great erudition attracted a large number of scholars. After Alexander's death in 323, anti-Macedonian feeling drove Aristotle out of Athens, and he fled to Chalcis in Euboea, where he died in 322. His writings, which were of extraordinary range, profoundly affected the whole course of ancient and medieval philosophy, and they are still eagerly studied and debated by philosophers today. Very many of them have survived and among the most famous are the Ethics and the Politics.
Table of Contents
Translated with an Introduction and Notes by Malcolm Heath
1. Human culture, poetry and the Poetics
3. Aristotle's history of poetry
4. The analysis of tragedy
5. Plot: the basics
6. Reversal and recognition
7. The best kinds of tragic plot
8. The pleasures of tragedy
9. The other parts of tragedy
10. Tragedy: miscellaneous aspects
13. Further reading
14. Reference conventions
Notes to the Introduction
Synopsis of the Poetics
Notes to the translation
What Our Readers Are Saying
Other books you might like
Fiction and Poetry » Classics » Greek