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. What does Aristotle consider to be secondary to the most essential element of tragedy?

2. Per Aristotle, in which of the following ways does poetry NOT differ from history?

3. Aristotle explains that the medium specific to poetry is one that uses what?

4. The object poetry portrays is what, according to Aristotle?

5. Aristotle asserts that men who find poetry very attractive find great pleasure in what?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why does Aristotle consider poetic work to be a philosophical undertaking, and, therefore, a higher pursuit than history, which is concerned simply with facts?

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

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

4. What does Aristotle say about plot in tragedy?

5. How does Aristotle say that poetry differs from history?

6. Aristotle explains that the object which poetry portrays is men in action. How may poets differ in how they represent these men?

7. According to Aristotle, how does the method of imitation differ?

8. How does Aristotle define comedy as a type of poetry?

9. What does Aristotle say about the the beginning and end of a tragic plot?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Aristotle teaches that the plot device of recognition can be divided into several kinds.

1) What types of recognition exist in tragedy?

2) What is the most effective form of recognition and why?

3) What is the least effective form of recognition and why?

Essay Topic 2

Choose one of the following to write about:

1) Based on your interpretation of "Poetics", compare the writing styles and balance of well written poetry versus poorly written poetry.

2) Discuss why a poet, according to Aristotle, must always be sure to keep the plots for his stories simple.

3) Compare history and poetry through the eyes of Aristotle. Explain the mistake many writers make when writing stories from history.

Essay Topic 3

Based on Aristotle's "Poetics", how does poetry differ from history according to Aristotle? Why is poetry considered a higher pursuit than history to Aristotle? How does Aristotle define the "laws of probability and necessity"?

(see the answer keys)

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