Poetics Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. In the context of poetry and according to Aristotle's teachings, why is man naturally attracted to imitation?

2. Concerning the "laws of probability and necessity," what statement below is NOT correct according to Aristotle's teachings in "Poetics"?

3. What type of action does Aristotle say occurs with "Recognition" and/or "Reversal of Situation"?

4. When a poet presents the poem in the voice of one of the characters, what method does Aristotle say that the poet is using?

5. What is history according to Aristotle?

Short Essay Questions

1. According to Aristotle, what is an example of a poor type of story and why?

2. What does Aristotle say the goal of tragedy is and how does he say good poetry accomplish this goal?

3. Based on Section I of Aristotle's "Poetics", how is the medium specific to poetry similar to and different from prose?

4. What are two reasons Aristotle says that men are drawn to write poetry?

5. What does Aristotle say about the actions described in a tragic plot?

6. Whom does Aristotle say favors episodic, as opposed to epic, storytelling and why?

7. How does Aristotle differentiate the arts from one another?

8. According to Aristotle, different types of poetry emerge from the personalities of different types of men. What are two examples Aristotle gives in relationship to personality of men and types of poetry?

9. Aristotle points out that good poets may also write episodic stories. What reason does he give?

10. Is the unity of plot the same as the unity of a character's actions? Explain.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

What reasons does Aristotle give regarding why the poet should be careful in picking the content for his poem? What types of stories are better fit for epic poems? Would you attempt to put Homer's "Iliad" in the format of a tragedy? Why?

Essay Topic 2

Choose one of the following to write about:

1) From "Poetics", discuss actions, including the definition of action, characteristics of action, how actions affect the plot, and what types of actions Aristotle considers more impressive over other types.

2) From "Poetics", discuss main character depiction, including how one should pick a main character, the characteristics that a main character should have and provide some examples to support your points.

Essay Topic 3

Choose one of the following to write about:

1) Compare the habits of good poets and bad poets according to Aristotle. Discuss their styles and motivations as discussed in "Poetics".

2) Based on "Poetics", discuss the elements or characteristics possessed by a superior tragedy.

3) What guidelines does Aristotle provide in regard to a poet choosing characters?

(see the answer keys)

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