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. When the poet takes the appropriate steps in developing plot, Aristotle explains that the poet is much more likely to do what?

2. In order for a plot to be truly effective in achieving the desired emotional response from its readers or audience, Aristotle says that the poet must do what?

3. Aristotle asserts that men who find poetry very attractive find great pleasure in what?

4. How does Aristotle differentiate poetry from prose?

5. How does Aristotle define "Recognition"?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

6. How does Aristotle say that poetry differs from history?

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

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

9. Is the unity of plot the same as the unity of a character's actions? Explain.

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

Essay Topic 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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