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 type of action does Aristotle say occurs with "Recognition" and/or "Reversal of Situation"?

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

3. Aristotle explains that tragedy is not only concerned with the depiction of just any action, but of actions that inspire what?

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

5. Like any art, poetry is defined by Aristotle as what?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

8. Why does Aristotle consider poetic work to be a philosophical undertaking, and, therefore, a higher pursuit than history, which is concerned simply with facts?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Aristotle teaches that actions can be divided into two types: simple and complex.

1) Define a simple action.

2) Define a complex action.

3) Provide at least one example for a simple and complex action.

Essay Topic 2

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 3

Aristotle divides the plot of a tragedy into two parts: the complication and the unraveling.

Part 1) Discuss the complication.

Part 2) Discuss the unraveling.

Part 3) Provide examples of each.

(see the answer keys)

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