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. According to Aristotle, how should the plot of a well-written tragedy be structured?

3. Concerning the "laws of probability and necessity," what statement below is NOT correct according to Aristotle's teachings in "Poetics"?

4. Into what two types does Aristotle divide actions?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. What does Aristotle say about plot in tragedy?

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 define tragedy as a type of poetry?

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

How would you develop an episodic plot as defined by Aristotle? What type of poets does Aristotle say are known to use this form of storytelling? Why do other types of poets use this form?

Essay Topic 2

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 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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