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

2. What two things does Aristotle require to be present in a well-written story?

3. Into what two types does Aristotle divide actions?

4. What does Aristotle call the individual episodes of a story with an episodic plot?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Aristotle differentiate epic poetry from tragic poetry?

2. Give an example that Aristotle provides in "Poetics" of a failed action where the character of a tragic story was aware of the circumstances then failed to follow through.

3. What does Aristotle identify as the most successful kind of action in a tragedy and why?

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

5. Based on "Poetics" by Aristotle, explain how the effect of a sad plot will be magnified?

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

7. What common mistake does Aristotle identify concerning poets who write about history?

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

9. Based on "Poetics" by Aristotle, how does Homer in his "Iliad" accomplish a great example of how one can take even a historical event and reduce and organize it into a simple and elegant story?

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

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

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?

Essay Topic 2

When constructing the plot, Aristotle says that the poet ought to do what first and why? When should the poet begin to fill out the individual episodes and scenes of the story? Why is it important to construct the plot in this way?

Essay Topic 3

What reasons does Aristotle give regarding why the poet must be sensitive to the nature of language? Into what parts can language be subdivided? What are some ways suggested by Aristotle that a poet could effectively create a rhythmic and pleasant-sounding poem that has a meter that is appropriate to the type of poem he is creating as well as to the subject matter?

(see the answer keys)

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