Poetics Study Guides

  • Poetics

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    Aristotle's Poetics is a theoretical work about drama, written c. 355 BC. The surviving half of the work is about tragedy, outlining and explaining the genres and necessary elements of a good tragedy. A tragedy must present a good, consistent protagonist, who experiences a turn of fortune (peripeteia) ending in his suffering (pathos) and his realization (anagnorisis) of the accident or miscalculation (hamartia) that caused his misfortune. For Aristotle, the elements of tragedy, from most to least important, are: plot, character, thought, diction, melody, spectacle.