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

2. What does Aristotle identify as the foundation of good poetry writing?

3. According to Aristotle, how does tragedy achieve the emotion it inspires?

4. A character attempting to save his friend but accidentally killing him instead is an example Aristotle gives for what?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

2. 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?

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

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

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

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

7. How does Aristotle classify or divide actions? Explain.

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

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

10. How does Aristotle define tragedy as a type of poetry?

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

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"?

Essay Topic 3

According to Aristotle, plot is the most essential element of tragedy; it is the sole element without which a tragedy could not exist. The development of character, though important, is secondary to the development of plot.

Part 1) Explain why the development of character is secondary to the development of plot.

Part 2) Through Aristotle's perspective, how should the plot of a well-written tragedy be structured?

(see the answer keys)

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