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. In a tragedy, how does Aristotle say the element of surprise should come about?

2. Into what two types does Aristotle divide actions?

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

4. Aristotle believes that a poet can turn a complex plot into a simple one by doing what?

5. According to Aristotle, why do good poets sometimes write stories using episodic plots?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Aristotle classify or divide actions? Explain.

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

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

5. 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?

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

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Aristotle teaches through "Poetics" that poets may use words metaphorically, and he explains that this is done in many ways.

1) Explain various ways in which a character uses words metaphorically.

2) Differentiate between various forms of metaphors.

3) Provide examples of how Aristotle says Homer's "Iliad" uses metaphors.

Essay Topic 2

The goal of tragedy, as explained by Aristotle, is to construct a plot that successfully inspires what in the spectator or reader? How should the actions depicted in the plot be chosen? How can the poet effectively inspire certain emotions to a great scale?

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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