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 does Aristotle say about the element of surprise in a tragedy?

2. What are the ways Aristotle explains in regard to how poets differ in their representation of the object?

3. Aristotle says that at most, episodic plots involve what?

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

5. 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?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

6. What does Aristotle say about plot in tragedy?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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?

(see the answer keys)

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