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

2. In an episodic plot, Aristotle explains that the individual episodes of the story bear what to one another?

3. Aristotle states that poetry depicts what?

4. Aristotle teaches that the beginning of a well-written tragedy starts at what point?

5. How does Aristotle compare the medium of poetry and prose?

Short Essay Questions

1. 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?

2. Based on Aristotle's teachings, what does it mean when a plot is unified?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

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 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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