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. What type of action does Aristotle say occurs without "Recognition" or "Reversal of Situation"?

3. Into what two types does Aristotle divide actions?

4. Aristotle believes that a poet can turn a complex plot into a simple one by doing what?

5. In a tragedy, how does Aristotle say the element of surprise should come about?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. 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?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Choose one of the following options to write about:

1) Discuss "Recognition" as defined by Aristotle and provide an example from "Poetics".

2) Discuss "Reversal of Situation" as defined by Aristotle and provide an example from "Poetics".

3) Based on Aristotle's teachings, explain how complex actions may effectively uses these devices.

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

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?

(see the answer keys)

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