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

Based on Aristotle's "Poetics", how does poetry differ from history according to Aristotle? Why is poetry considered a higher pursuit than history to Aristotle? How does Aristotle define the "laws of probability and necessity"?

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

Based on Aristotle's teachings, with what type of actions does tragedy concern itself? How does tragedy accomplish its goals of inspiring certain emotions in the audience? What is the foundation of good poetry writing according to Aristotle?

(see the answer keys)

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