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. According to Aristotle, how does tragedy achieve the emotion it inspires?

2. Per Aristotle, the unity of plot is what to the unity of a character's actions?

3. Aristotle says what type of poetry imitates the "lower" types of men?

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

5. How does Aristotle differentiate poetry from prose?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

5. Concerning plot, what does Aristotle say a poet must always be sure to do?

6. What does Aristotle identify as the most successful kind of action in a tragedy and why?

7. What does Aristotle identify as the goal of tragedy?

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

9. Give an example that Aristotle provides in "Poetics" of a failed action where the character of a tragic story was aware of the circumstances then failed to follow through.

10. In addition to recognition through sign, what are some other ways that Aristotle identifies as ways in which recognition can occur?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

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 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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