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 call the individual episodes of a story with an episodic plot?

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

3. What, as Aristotle states, are good poets forced to do when they write stories with episodic plots?

4. What reason does Aristotle give for Homer excluding many things that Odysseus does on his voyage home in the "Odyssey"?

5. In the context of poetry and according to Aristotle's teachings, why is man naturally attracted to imitation?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Give an example that Aristotle provides in "Poetics" of the most successful kind of action in a tragedy.

3. What is poetry according to Aristotle?

4. How does Aristotle define "current" and "strange" words?

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

6. Based on Aristotle's reasoning, what type of main character should a poet choose and why?

7. Based on Section I of Aristotle's "Poetics", how is the medium specific to poetry similar to and different from prose?

8. What does Aristotle say in regard to how actions in a plot should be chosen?

9. How does Aristotle differentiate the arts from one another?

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

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

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 2

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 3

How would you develop an episodic plot as defined by Aristotle? What type of poets does Aristotle say are known to use this form of storytelling? Why do other types of poets use this form?

(see the answer keys)

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