Poetics Test | Final 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. When is a sign considered to be poorly used in the plot device of recognition according to Aristotle?

2. Based on Aristotle's teachings about tragedy, how can the poet unify the plot?

3. What does Aristotle say occurs at the beginning of a tragic story?

4. Based on Aristotle's teachings, why do some tragedies use certain effects when performed on stage?

5. What other name does Aristotle give to the conclusion of a tragedy?

Short Essay Questions

1. 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.

2. What type of recognition is considered by Aristotle to be superior to the others and why?

3. In order for a plot to be truly effective in achieving the desired emotional responses, Aristotle explains that the actions portrayed in it must be of a certain character. Explain.

4. When does Aristotle say the use of recognition through sign is used poorly?

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

6. What types of situations does Aristotle say occur frequently in tragedy and why?

7. What does Aristotle say that a poet should do first when constructing the plot of a tragedy?

8. If the tragedy is to be performed, what does Aristotle say the poet should ensure and why?

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

10. In regard to the plot device of recognition, give an example that Aristotle provides in "Poetics" of how recognition can occur through some recognition of sign.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

What reasons does Aristotle give regarding why the poet should be careful in picking the content for his poem? What types of stories are better fit for epic poems? Would you attempt to put Homer's "Iliad" in the format of a tragedy? Why?

Essay Topic 2

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 3

Based on Aristotle's "Poetics", how does poetry differ from history according to Aristotle? Why is poetry considered a higher pursuit than history to Aristotle? How does Aristotle define the "laws of probability and necessity"?

(see the answer keys)

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