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. Men are drawn to write poetry for several reasons. Which of the following is NOT one of the reasons Aristotle provides?

2. Aristotle explains that actions described in a tragic plot should have certain characteristics. Which one of the following is NOT one of the characteristics that Aristotle identifies?

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

4. Aristotle defines poetic work as what?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

8. 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?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Choose one of the following options to write about:

1) Discuss "Recognition" as defined by Aristotle and provide an example from "Poetics".

2) Discuss "Reversal of Situation" as defined by Aristotle and provide an example from "Poetics".

3) Based on Aristotle's teachings, explain how complex actions may effectively uses these devices.

Essay Topic 2

Aristotle teaches that the plot device of recognition can be divided into several kinds.

1) What types of recognition exist in tragedy?

2) What is the most effective form of recognition and why?

3) What is the least effective form of recognition and why?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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