S. H. (Samuel Henry) Butcher.

Aristotle's theory of poetry and fine art : with a critical text and translation of the Poetics online

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being manifestly sections of rhythm. Persons, therefore,
starting with this natural gift developed by degrees their



16 IV. 6 — II. 1448 b 24 — 144937

Siaa/iarcov. hieairdaOt] Be Kara ra oikela tJOtj rj iroi.rfai'i' 7
25 oi fiev yap aefWOTepoi ra? KoXa,'; ifiifiovvTO Trpafet? Kai,
ra<; t&v toiovtcov, 01 Be evreKearepoi ra? t5)V (pavXav,
irpwrov yfroyovi TrotoOvre?, acrirep arepoi v/ivovf Kol eyKdofiia.
tSsv fiev ovv Trpb 'Ofirjpov ovBevo<; e'^^ofiev eiTrelv toiovtov 8
TTOLTipM, elKb<s Be elvai ttoWov?, cltto Be 'Ofi'^pov ap^ap,evoi,<i
30 ecrrtv, olov ixeivov 6 MapyLTrjt; koX to. roiavra. ev ol? Kot
TO dpfjLOTTOv [ta/i/Setoi'] ^\de fierpov. Bib koI iafi/Setov xa-
Xeirai vvv, on ev rtp fierpq) Tovrm Idfi^i^ov aW'^Xovf, koI 9
iyevovro t&v iraXat&v ol fiev ripaiKutv ol Be Idfi^cov TToirj-
TaL wcrirep Be Koi tA airovBaia fidXicrTa iroirjTrj'i "Ofi7]po<{
35 ^v (fi6vo<; yap ou^ oti e5 a\\<a> l_0Ti] Kol /iifj,rj(rei<i Bpa/ia-
TOKd<; i7roiT](7ev), ovt(o<; kuI Tci tt)? Kmfia)Bta<i (T'^rjiiaTa
irp&To^ inriBei^ev, ov ^jroyov dWd to yeXoiov BpafjuiTO-
iroirjaa^' 6 yap M.apyiTr}i; dvdXoyov e'^ei, uicnrso 'IXi^?
1449 a Kol rj ^OBvacreia vpb<s T09 Tpay(pBla<;, ovtco kov ovto<; tt/jo?
To.'i Ka>p,q)Bia<;. Trapa^aveLa'7]<; Be ttj? TpayaBia^ ical Km- 10
/jboiBia^ ol e'(^' exuTepav Trjv nTo[r}cnv op/MavTei xaTd Trjv
oiKetav <f)veriv ol fiev dvTi t&v Idfi^wv KwiitpBoiroioX eye-
5 vovTo, ol Be dvTl t&v eir&v TpaycpBoBiBdo'icoKoL, Bid to
fiei^ova ical evTifiorepa to; <rp^»j)OiaTa elvai TavTa eKeivcov.
Tb jiev otrv eiria-Koireiv el ap e-^ei i^Bt] jj TpaywBia rot? 11



27. firepoi Spengel : irepoi codd. 30. koX (post oh) Aid. : Kari, M

31. laiiglov (bis) A" la/i^eiov ante ^\Se seel. Stahr 36. dXXd Bonitz

(oon6rai. Arabs) : dW Stl codd. ; dXX' ft-i Tucker Spo/UaTocds A" et S :

dpanariKus apogr. 38. i apogr. : ri A" 1449 a 6. /lel^ova apogr. i.

Het^ov A" 7. el S,pa Ix" Parisinus 2038 : vapix^i A." : S.p' ?x« V&hlen



ARISTOTLE'S POETICS IV. 6— ii 17

special aptitudes, till their rude improvisations gave birth
to Poetry.

Poetry now diverged in two directions, according to 7
the individual character of the writers. The, graver
spirits imitated noble actions, and ^the actions of
good men. The more trivial sort imitated the actions
of meaner persons, at first composing satires, as
the former did hymns to the gods and the praises of
famous men. A poem of the satirical kind cannot s
indeed be put down to any author earlier than Homer ;
though many such writers probably there were. But
from Homer onward, instances can be cited, — his own
Margites, for example, and other similar compositions.
The appropriate metre was also here introduced ; hence
the measure is still called the iambic or lampooning
measure, being that in which people lampooned one
another. Thus the older poets were distinguished as »
writers of heroic or of lampooning verse.

As, in the serious style. Homer is pre-eminent among
poets, for he alone combined dramatic form with
excellence of imitation, so he too first laid down the
main lines of Comedy, by dramatising the ludicrous
instead of writing personal satire. His Margites bears
I the same relation to Comedy that the Iliad and Odyssey
do to Tragedy. But when Tragedy and Comedy came ift
to light, the two classes of poets still followed their
natural bent : the lampooners became writers of Comedy,
and the Epic poets were succeeded by Tragedians,
since the drama was a larger and higher form of
art.

Whether Tragedy has as yet perfected its proper it



18 IV. II — IS- 144938—28

e'iBea-iv 'iKOvm r) ov, avro re Kaff avro fvpiverai ri valf
KoX irpb^TO, dearpa,aX\o';\6yo<;. ryevofiivrj <S'> ovv air apxvi 12

lo-avToa-'xe^iaa-TiKri, koL avrrj koX r] KioficphLa, koL 1? fiev a-rro
T&v i^apxovTtov Tov Bidupafi^ov, 1? Be utto t&v ra ^aX-
XiKo, a eri Kal vvv iv TroXKai's t&v iroXemv Btafievet vo-
fii^ofieva, Kara jjLVKpov rji^'^drj Trpoayovreov oaov iyiyvero
^avepov avT^<;, kuI TroWa? p,eTa^d\a'! fiera^aXova-a rj

15 rpaytpUa eirava-aro, eirel eaxe rr]v avrrj'} <^v<Ttv. Kal to 13
Te T&v VTTOKptT&v 7r\fj6o<; ef evb<; el<; Bvo 7rp&T0<; Aia-)(V-
X09 7]yaye koI to, tov X°P°^ rfKaTTtocre Kai tov Xoyov
7rp(OTay(ovic7Trjv -Trapea-Kevaaev, Tpel<; Be koI aKr]voypa<^iav
'to^oKKri<;. en Be to fi,eyedo<; eK /xiKp&v /mvOcov koX \e- 14

20 ^60)9 yeXoi,a<; Bia to eK craTvptKov jj-eTa^aXeiv oyjre cnre-
a-ep.vvvO'T). TO Te fieTpov eK TeTpafieTpov lafL^elov eyeveTO'
TO /j,ev yap irp&TOv TeTpa/MeTpip e^p&vTO Bia to aaTvpiKrjv
Kal 0/3^7? cTTtKtBTepflW' elvat ttjv iroi/qa-iv, Xe^etos Be yevofievr]<i
avTT] T) d)vcri<; to oIkciov jjueTpov evpe' fidkicrTa yap XeKTi-

25 Kov T&v p-iTpeov TO lafi^elov ecmv' a-rjfieiov Be tovtov
irXela-Ta yhp lafi^ela Xeyofiev ev t§ BiaXeKreo Ty tt/jo?
aXkiffKov';, e^d/MeTpa Be oXiyaKi'; Kal eK^aivovTe<i Tri<! Xe-
KTiKT}^ ap/xovia^. eTi Be eiretaoBltov irXrjdr) Kal to. aXX' 15

8. Kpiverai ij val ■ Kal A° : val aeol. Bursian : KplvtTtu ehai Kal apogr. ; KpTvai
Kal Forchhammer : fort. Kpiverai elvai fj Kal : airib re Kar' airb etvai
KpeiTTov tj irpbs SArepa S ut videtur (Margoliouth) 9. yevofihii S' oht

Eicoardianus 46 : '^ivo)iivr\ oiv apogr. ; yevopi^yris oSv A" 10. airoa-xfSia-

(TTiKT) apogr. : avToaxeSiacrTiKTJs A'= 11, ^oWikA, apogr. : (pavWiKi, A° :

fpavXiKa vel tpauXa S 12. StafjJvei apogr. : diafj^veiv A° 15. ai/TTJs

Bekker : iavrrjs apogr.: airrjs A" 19. X^feus] \i^eis S ('orationea'

Arabs/ : < ri X^|ij & > \4^eas Christ. Omissum vooabuliun collate Arabe id
esse Margoliouth suspioatur cuius vice Graeouli ifTiyopla usurpant 20.

(rarvpiaKoS A" 21 et 25. lan^Lov Ac 26. lajx^la A" 27. i^ifierpa'l

Terpiiierpa Winstanley els Xcktiktiv ap/ioviav Wecklein (cf. Rhet. iii. 8.

1408 b 32) : oodicum lect. tutatur Arabs verba 25 <rrip,e1op—28 apfiovlas

suadente Useuer seel. Susemihl 28. post ttXtJSt; punotum del. Gomperz

dXXa us apogr. (confirm. Arabs) : SXXus A" : SXXa ots Hermann



ARISTOTLE'S POETICS IV. ii — 15 19

types or not ; and whether it is to be judged in itself, or
in relation also to the audience, — this raises another
question. Be that as it may, Tragedy — as also Comedy 12
— was at first mere improvisation. The one originated
with the authors of the Dithyramb, the other with those
of the phallic songs, which are still in use in many of
our cities. Tragedy advanced by slow degrees ; each
new element that showed itself was in turn developed.
Having passed through many changes, it found its natural
form, and there it stopped.

Aeschylus first introduced a second actor ; he dimin- 13
ished the importance of the Chorus, and assigned the
leading part to the dialogue. Sophocles raised the number
of actors to three, and added scene-painting. Moreover, 14
it was not till late that the short plot was discarded for
one of greater compass, and the grotesque diction of the
earlier satyric form for the stately manner of Tragedy.
The iambic measure then replaced the trochaic tetrameter,
which was originally employed when the poetry was of
the satyric order, and had greater affinities with dancing.
Once dialogue had come in, Nature herself discovered the
appropriate measure. For the iambic is, of all measures,
the most colloquial : we see it in the fact that con-
versational speech runs into iambic lines more frequently
than into any other kind of verse ; rarely into hexa-
meters, and only when we drop the colloquial in-
tonation. The additions to the number of ' episodes ' IS
or acts, and the other accessories of which tradition



20 IV. IS — V. 4. 1449 a 29 — 1449 b -I

w? eKaa-ra Koa-nrfBrjvat, Xeyerai earTco r^juv eiprj/iiva- iro-
30X11 7a/3 aj; I'cro)? eprfov eirj Bie^ievai Ka6' eKaarov.

V 'H fie KcofiwBba iarlv manrep ei-jro/jLev fj,ifjLr]a-i,<; (f>av\oTepmv

fiev, ov fievToi Kara Ttacrav KaKiav, aWa rov aiff'^pov
ea-n to yeXoiov fiopiov, to 7a.j0 yeXoiov icrrtv d/jMprTj-
fid n Koi ala-')(o<; dvtoBvvov Kot ov <f)dapnKov, olov ev-

3S Oix; TO ryeXolov "TrpofTonrov alcr'^pov rt Kal BieaTpa/Mfievov
avev oBvvrjii. ai fiev oiv rij? TpaymBia^ (leTa^daeit Kal 2
Bi S)V eyevovTO ov XeKrjOacriv, rj Be KWfiwBia Bid to firj
1449 1) aiTovBd^eadai e'^ dp^yflt: eXaOev ' Kal jdp xopov K(Ofi(pB5sv
oilre TTOTS apymv eBcoKev, dXX' ideXovTal rjcrav. tjBtj Be
avriiJMTd TLva avTfj<i i'X^ovcrijs ol Xejofievoi avTrj<; iroirjTal
fjLvrjfiovevovTai. Tt9 Be TrpocrcoTra dweBcoKev r) TrpoXoyov: rj 8
S nrX-rjOT) viroKpiTwv Kal oaa Totavra, rjyvor)Tai. to B^ fiv-
0OV? TTOteiv ['ETTtp^ap/AO? Kal ^op/it?] to /j,ev ef «p%'7?
e'/c StKeXta? ^X0e, t&v Be 'Ad-^vrj&iv K.pdT7]<; •irp&TO'; ^p^ev
d^efieva Trj'; la/j,^iK7i<; tSea? KadoXov -iroietv Xoyov; Kal
/xvOovs. r] fiev ovv eiroiroda Tfj TpaywBLa fie'^pi p,ep tov fieTa i

10 /leTpov [fjLeydXovl /xifiricrK eivai crirovBaLcov riKoXovOrfo-ev tu>
Be TO fierpov dirXovv e^etv koI dirayyeXiav elvai, TavTjf

29. irepl /liv o^ Toiroiv TOffoCra add. Aid. ante Io-tw 32. dXX' 5 To!r

aicrptpoC Friedreich : iWd, < Karh rb ye\o?ov, > tov <5'> at<rxpoO Christ : 'sed
tantum res ridicula est de genere foedi quae est portio et ridioula Arabs, i. e.
dXXi fi6votf t6 yeXotdv iffrt tou alffxpov 5 /j,6pL6v itm Kal rb y^Xoiov S, quod ex
duabus lectionibus conflatum esse censet Susemihl (1) dXXd /j,6pwv iibvav riy
■yeXoibv i<TTi TOV alffxpov, (2) dXXd toO ala-xpov /i6pi.dv iffTL Kal rb ycXoTov
33. yiXoiov (bis) A" 1449 b 3. ol XeyS/ievoi] SKlyoL fih ol Castelvetro r

iXlyoi iiiv [ol] Usenet 4. wpoKbyovs Ap : vpbXoyov Christ : \&yovs Her-

mann 6. 'Eirlxapfios Kal $6/p,i«! seol. Susemihl : ^4KeWa/ y&,p ij(TTtiii>

'EirLxapfios xal ^6py.Ls post ?j\0e Bywater, collate Theraistio, Or. xxvii. p. 337 A,
recte, ut opinor 8. eld4as A" 9-10. fi^xp^ M*" toO /ierd pLirpov Thurot

(ef. Arab.) : p^xP'- fiivov fi^Tpov /ie7dXoucodd. : p^xpi. piv tov pirpif <iv p.-liKii>
luydXcfi coni. Susemihl : p-^pi piv tov p,4Tptf Tyrwhitt : /x^xp' pivov <toO Sia
X670U ip.>p,iTpov /te7dXou Ueberweg 10. peydXov codd. ; seel. Bursian:

/ierd \6yov Aid. et, ut videtur, S ti? Aid.: ri A" 11. raiirij A"-



ARISTOTLE'S POETICS IV. 15— V. 4 21

tells, must be taken as already described; for to discuss
them in detail would, doubtless, be a large under-
taking.

V Comedy is, as we have said, an imitation of characters

of a lower type, — not, however, in the full sense of the
word bad, the Ludicrous being merely a subdivision of
the ugly. It consists in some defect or ugliness which
is not painful or destructive. To take an obvious
example, the comic mask is ugly and distorted, but does
not imply pain.

The successive changes through which Tragedy passed, 2
and the authors of these changes, are well known, whereas
Comedy has had no history, because it was not at first
L449 b treated seriously. It was late before the Archon granted
a comic chorus to a poet ; the performers were till then
voluntary. Comedy had already taken definite shape
when comic poets, distinctively so called, are heard of.
Who furnished it with masks, or prologues, or increased 3
the number of actors, — these and other similar detaUs
remain unknown. As for the plot, it came originally
from Sicily ; but of Athenian writers Crates was the
first who, abandoning the ' iambic ' or lampooning form,
generalised his themes and plots.

Epic poetry agrees with Tragedy in so far as it is an 4
imitation in verse of characters of a higher type. They
differ, in that Epic poetry admits but one kind of
metre, and is narrative in form. They differ, again.



22 v. 4— VI. 4. 1449 b 12—34

Biatpepova-iv en Se rm fxijicei, <6V6i> 57 /iev on funXca-ra
ireiparat viro jjLiav irepioSov rfkiov elvai rj fUKpov i^aWaTreiv,
■f) he iirotroda d6pia-T0<} tw ■^pov^, iceu tovtw Sia^epei • kuitoi

IS TO irp&Tov o/40t<B9 iv Toi'i TpaymSuafi tovto eiroiovv km ev
Tol<; eirea-tv. fieprj S ia-rl to, fiev raiiTci, to, Se iBia ttJs 5
TDaycoSia?* Sioirep oerrK Trepl Tpaymoia'; owe cTTOvoaia?
Kal ^avKrji;, olSe koI irepl iir&v' a fiev yap eironrona
e'xei, virdp'xei t{j rpar/tpSia, a Be avrrj, oi iravra . ev ttj

20 eiroiroLia.
VI Tiepl /j£v ovv T^? iv e^afj,eTpoi,<; p,i/j,7jnKrj<! koX irepi kco-

p,tpBia<i varepov ipov/Mev, irepl Be Tpa<ya>Bia<i Xeywfiev ava-
"Ka^ovTet; avrfji; e'/c tS)V elpij/iivcov tov yivofievov opov Trji
ovaiaq. eanv ovv rpayipBia fiifiTjci^ irpd^eax; cnrovBaia<; 2

25 Kal reXeta? fJieyeOoi e'p^ovo"?;?, T^Bvafievtp \6y(p %«/3^? e«a-
(TT(t) T&v elBwv ev rot? fiopbOK, BpcovTwv Kal oi St aTray-
yeXLa<;, St' eXeov Kal <f>o^ov irepatvovaa rrjv r&v roiovTwv
TradfJijidTcov KaOapaiv. Xe^G) Be rjBvafievov fiev Xoyov tov 3
e'xpvra pv6/j,bv Kal dpfioviav Kal fieXo^, to Be ')((opl'i rot?

30 e'lBeai to Boa /Merpav evia /movov irepabveaOai Kal irdXtv eTepa
Bid fjueXovi. eirel Be irpdTTOVTe'; TroiovvTai ttjv /jbl/jurja-iv, i
irpS)Tov fiev e^ dvdyKT]^ &v elrj tc /juopiov TpaycpBia'i o
Tj)? oyjretoi; KOff/Aoi;, eVra fieXoiroila Kal Xef t? • ev TOVTOt<s yap
iroiovvTat ttjv fiiiMrjaiv. Xeyat Be Xe^iv fiev avTrjv ttjv t&v



12. Si.a<j>ipn Hermann (confirm. Arabs) <^7rel> tj iiiv Gomperz : <:5>

il fiiv coni. Vahlen : <:cl> ii /ih Tucker: ij /iiv yhp apogr. 14. to6to)

(? TOVTO pr. m.) A° Buupipounv Christ 16. iirenv et &Ta<n. var. lect.

S (Diels), 'in omnibus epesi' Arabs TaiJra apogr.: roOra A." 19.

aiTrn A° : ain^ apogr. : aiirij Reiz ; iv airy Richards 21. flip add. apogr. ;

om. A" 22. d»a\a)36cres Bernays : dTroXa/SAcTes codd. 25. iKia-Tip

Reiz: (xdrTov oodd. 28. iraBTi/idTuv corr. apogr., S: /laBTifidTUi'

A<= 29. Kal /iiXos] Kal fi^Tpov Vettori : seel. Tyrwhitt 30. /j.ivoi']

/iSpia S (' partes ' Arabs) 34. aiTiiv] Tairrriv Bywater



ARISTOTLE'S POETICS V. 4— VI. 4 23

in their length : for Tragedy endeavours, as far as
possible, to confine itself to a single revolution of the
sun, or but slightly to, exceed this limit ; whereas the
Epic action has no limits of time. This, then, is a
second point of difference; though at first the same
freedom was admitted in Tragedy as in Epic poetry.

Of their constituent parts some are common to both, 5
some peculiar to Tragedy : whoever, therefore, knows
what is good or bad Tragedy, knows also about Epic
poetry. All the elements of an Epic poem are found
in Tragedy, but the elements of a Tragedy are not all
found in the Epic poem.
VI Of the poetry which imitates in hexameter verse, and

of Comedy, we will speak hereafter. Let us now discuss
Tragedy, resuming its formal definition, as resulting from
what has been already said.

Tragedy, then, is an imitation of an action that is 2
serious, complete, and of a certain magnitude ; in language
embellished with each kind of artistic ornament, the
several kinds being found in separate parts of the play ;
in the form of action, not of narrative ; through pity and
fear effecting the proper purgation of these emotions. By 3
' language embellished,' I mean language into which
rhythm, 'harmony,' and song enter. By ' the several kinds
in separate parts,' I mean, that some parts are rendered
through the medium of verse alone, others again with
the aid of song.

Now as tragic imitation implies persons acting, it neces- i
sarily follows, in the first place, that Spectacular equip-
ment will be a part of Tragedy. Next, Song and Diction,
for these are the medium of imitation. By ' Diction '



24 VI. 4—9- 1449 t> 35—145° a 15

35 fiirpeop avvOea-iv, fieXoirodav Be o ttjv SvvafMV (pavep^p
'i'^ei, rraaiv. enrel Se Tr/jafems e<ni, fji,[fj,7]a-i<;, TrpdrTerai Se 5
VTTO TivSsv TrpaTTOVTCov, oft? avdjiCrj TTotovs Ttvai; eivai Kara
re TO ?)6o<i KoX TrjV Bidvoiav (Bici yap tovtcov kui ra?
1460 a TTjOaf 6f 9 ehai (pa/Jiev Trotas Tti'as, •ire<j)VKev Be a'iria Bvo rmv
irpd^ewv elvai, Bidvoiav Koi rj6o<;, Kai Kara ravra? /cat
Tvyydvovari Ka\ aTrorvyxdvovcn irdvTe<s), 'icmv Brj Trj<! fiev 6
•TTpd^eayi 6 p.vOo'^ rj fiifjLTjai'i' Xe^ft) yap fjLvOov tovtov, rrjv

5 crvvdeaiv rmv irpaypATav, ra Be tjOt), KaO o ttoiov; Tipa<;
etpai ff>afj,ep T0119 irpdrTOPTa'i, Bidpotap Be, ep bcroi<; Xeyop-
Te? dvoBeiKPvaalp re 7) Kal dirofjiaCpovTai ypd/iijp, dpdjKr) 7
ovv irdar)<; TpayaiBLa'; pApr) eipai e^, KaO a iroid Ti<s icrrip
rj TpayaBia' ravra B eaTi fivdo<; Kal rjOrj Kal Xe^t? Kal

10 Bidvoia Kal oyjrts Kal ixeXoiroda. ol? p,ep yap fiifiovprai,
Bvo p^eprj ea-Tiv, w? Se p,i/j,ovPTai, ev, a Be fit/j^ovprai, rpia,
Kal irapd ravra oiiBep. tovtoi'; /Mev oiip <TrdpTe<s> [ovk oXiyoi 8
avTOipJo)^ elTreiP Ke')(^p'qPTai, rot? eXBecrop- Kal yapoi^eK e')(ei "Trap
Kal ?ido<; Kal p,vdov Kal Xe^ip Kal peXoi Kal Bidpoiap wcrav-

ij T«i)9. fieyicrrop Be rovrcop icrrip rj twp Trpayfidrap avcrTaffi<i' 9

35. /jAtpuv] dvo/iiToiv Hermann, coUato 14B0 b 15 36. iratriv Maggi :

iroArav codd. 38. Sicl S^ Zeller Sid, yhp roiroiv . . . irdfTes in

parenthesi Thurot 1450 a 1. iriipVKev Si apogr. : Tr44>VKev A" afria

codd. : oWas Christ 3. Sri Eucken : Si oodd. 4. tovtov] tovto

Maggi: seel. Christ (of. Arab.) 5. Ka0b A": Ka.B' & apogr. 8.

Ka6' & iroid apogr. ; KaSoTola A" 12. oi)k dXlyoi airSv ws eliretv oodd. :

iXlyov aiiTwv < dirai'Tes > us elireiv ooni. By water : oiK i5Xi70i airwv < dXXA
ir<ipTes> us diretv Bursian : oiiK iUyoi airruv om. S, sed irdrTus {1=TrdvTes)
add. (vid. Margoliouth). Secluso igitur tanquara gloasemate oix 4W701
aiTwv, scripsi ^irdvrcs> iSis elwetr : cf. Rhet. i. 1. 1354 a 12, dXlyov codd.-.
oiSip us eiireii' A" marg., uLi SKiyov glossema esse suspicor, veram lect. oiSiv
ijjs clireiv : Detn. or. xxxviii. 6 irdvTuv tuv irXeitTTUv cIjs elireXv, ubi tuv
TrXelarwv secluserim. Viam monstravit Diela, qui tamen irivres quoque
omisso, ToiTois iiiv oSv iis elirciv scripsit : oi5k 6\iyoi aiTwv <: dW iv ttcuti
irivTcs > Gomperz : oiK SXlyoi airuv < dXXct wifTes Traffi > Ze]ler : < irivrss
iv ncuriv aiTTJs> Susemihl 13. (ii/'ets vel iii/'u' apogr. : b'j/is A° Tfi»

iure suspexeris



ARISTOTLE'S POETICS VI. 4 — 9 25

I mean the mere metrical arrangement of the words :
as for ' Song,' it is a term whose sense every one under-
stands.

Again, Tragedy is the imitation of an action ; and an 5
action implies personal agents, who necessarily possess
certain distinctive qualities both of character and thought;
1460 a for it is by these that we qualify actions themselves,
and these — thought and character — are the two natural
causes from which actions spring, and on actions again
all success or failure depends. Hence, the Plot is the 6
imitation of the action : — for by plot I here mean the
arrangement of the incidents. By Character I mean
that in virtue of which we ascribe certain qualities to
the agents. Thought is required wherever a statement
is proved, or, it may be, a general truth enunciated.
Every Tragedy, therefore, must have six parts, which 7
parts determine its quality — namely, Plot, Character,
Diction, Thought, Spectacle, Song. Two of the parts con-
stitute the medium of imitation, one the manner, and three
the objects of imitation. And these complete the list.
These elements have been employed, we may say, by the 8
poets to a man; in fact, every play contains Spectacular
elements as well as Character, Plot, Diction, Song, and
Thought.

But most important of all is the structure of the 9



26 VI. 9—14- 145° a 16—37

)j <ya.p rpajaiSia fji,ifirj<ri,<s icrnv ovk avOpcotrmv aXKa irpa-
^ews KoX ^iov <o Se ^io<;> iv irpd^ei iarlv koX to reXos
irpa^L<; tl^ ecyriv, ov m-oioTij^' elcrlv Se Kara fiev to, ^07j ttoioi 10
rive^, Kara Be ra? Trpafet? evBaifiove<; r) rovvavTuov. ovkovv

20 OTTO)? tA rjffr) /Mifiija-covrat, irpaTTOVcriv, dW^ rci rjOrj avfi-
TrapaXafi^dvovcnv Sia ra? Trpd^ei^' (ocrre ra 'Trpary/juaTa Kai
6 p,v6o<; reXos tjj? Tpa<ya)8t,a<;, to Be reXof fieyio'Tov dnravrtov,
eTi avev /xev nrpd^ewi ovk av ryevoiro TpwycpBLa, avev Be 11
r/Owv yivoiT dv. ai yap rSiv vecov r&v nrXeio'Tcov drjdeif

25 rpajaBiai elaXv koX oXw? iroiTjTal iroWol toiovtoi, olov Kat
r&v ypa<f)ea)v Zeu^t? ttjoo? TloXvyvcorop Trewovdev o fiev yap
Tio\vyva)ro<; dya66<; rj9oypd<^o<;, rj Be Zev^iBoi ypat^r) ovBev
eyei rjOo';. en edv Tt? e^e^rj'; Ofj prjaea rjOiKa'i Kai Xe^et 12
KOI Biavoia ev 'rre'Troi'r)p,eva<i, ov Troitjaei o ^v T779 rpayw-

30 Stay epyov, dXKa troXii fidXKov rj KaTaBee<rTepoi<{ TovTOit
Kej(^p7]p,ev7i rpayqsBia, e-x^ovcra Be p,v6ov koI a-varacnv irpa-
yfjidrojv. tt/jo? Se tovtok rd /jLeyLara ol<; y^v^^aymyei f) 13
TpaywBla, rov p,vdov p^eprj iariv, at re TrepnreTeiai /cal dva-
yvatpiaei'i. en crTjjji,eiov on Kai oi eyj^eipovvTe's iroie'lv irpo- 14

35 repov BvvavTai rfj Xe^ei Kai rot? rfOeaiv aKpi^ovv t) tcl
Trpdyfiara avvicrTacrdac, olov kuI 01 irpaiToi iroiriTal a'^eBov
airavre^, dp'^r) p,ev ovv Ka\ olov '^v'^r} 6 fivOo<; Trj<; rpa-



16. dXKk irpd^eus Kai ^Lov Kai ei/Saifiovias Kai ij KaKodaifiovia iv Trpd^ei codd,,
sed alio speotat Arabs ('sed in operibus ut vita. Et <vita> est in opere ') ;
uude Margoliouth dWi, irpAf eus Kai /Siou, < 6 Si j3/os > ii/ vpi^ei, quod pro-
bant Diels, Zeller, Susemihl. Codioum leotionem ita supplet Vablen, Kai
eiu8aLfj.ovias < Kai KaKodatfioviaSf tj di €idatf/.ovia > Kai i] KaKodaifiovia
20. Trpdrrouirii'] irpdrTovras Toiomiv coni. Vahlen trvfiirapa'Kafipdvovtn

Gnelferbytanus pr. m., Spengel : aviivepiXaiip&vovnv A" 26 et 27.

HdkiyvuaTov et noXi)7<'W(rros A" 28. X^|« Kai Siavolij. Vahlen (confirm.

Arabs) : Xi^as Kai Suivotas eodd. 29. oi add. apogr. ( ' nequaquam '

Arabs) : cm. A" : fort. oiSa/iQs Margoliouth 80. ■^ apogr. : ij A" 36.

awifTTa(rdai codd. : (rvvia-Tavai Thurot



ARISTOTLE'S POETICS VI. 9 — 14 27

incidents. For Tragedy is an imitation, not of men, but
of an action and of life, and life consists in action, and
its end is a mode of action, not a quality. Now 10
character determines men's qualities, but it is by their
actions that they are happy or the reverse. Dramatic
action, therefore, is not with a view to the representation
of character : character comes in as subsidiary to the
actions. Hence the incidents and the plot are the end of
a tragedy ; and the end is the chief thing of all. Again, 11
without action there cannot be a tragedy ; there may be
without character. The tragedies of most of our modern
poets fail in the rendering of character ; and of poets in
general this is often true. It is the same in painting ;
and here lies the difference between Zeuxis and Polygnotus.
Polygnotus deliaeates character well : the style of Zeuxis
is devoid of ethical quality. Again, if you string 12
together a set of speeches expressive of character, and
well finished in point of diction and thought, you will
not produce the essential tragic effect nearly so well as
with a play which, however deficient in these respects,
yet has a plot and artistically constructed incidents.
Besides which, the most powerful elements of emotional 13
interest in Tragedy — Peripeteia or Eeversal of the
Situation, and Eecognition scenes — are parts of the plot.
A further proof is, that novices in the art attain to finish 14
of diction and precision of portraiture before they can
construct the plot. It is the same with almost all
the early poets.

The Plot, then, is the first principle, and, as it were.



28 VI. IS— 19- 1450 a 38—1450 b 19

ja>Bla<;, Sevrepov Be to, rjdr)- TrapairXijcriov yap ecrriv Kal 15
1450 b iirl TJjs jpaipiKTJ'i • el yap Tt? ivaXeiylreie Tot9 waWicrTOi?
<f>apiJi,dKoi<; ')(vB'r]v, ovk av o/MOiax; ev<f)pdveiev Kai, Xey/co-
ypa(})ijara<; elKova- ecmv re fiifir]cri,<; irpd^ew; ical Bta ravT-qv
fidXicrra rmv TrparrovTcov. rplrov Be r] Bidvoia' tovto oe 16
5 eariv to Xeyeuv Bvvacrdai rh evovra koX to, dpfiOTTOvra,
oirep eVt rSiv Xoyeov t'^? iroXi.TtKrj'; ical prjTopiKfji; epyov
ear IV oi fiev yap dp')(aioi irokiTiK.Si'; eiroiovv \eyovra<;, oi
Be vvv prjTopiKO)';. eaTiv Be ^Oo<; fiev to tolovtov o BrfKol ttjv 17
irpoalpeo'iv OTrotd Tt? Trpoatpeirat rj <j)evyei • Btovep ovk
10 eyovcTiv fj9o<; rwv Xoyoov iv ot<; ovk etrri BfjXov ■^ iv
oh /J/r)B^ o\(»? 'i<rTi,v 6 Tt, "TrpoatpeiTai ij ^evyet, Xeycov '
Bidvoia Be, ev oI? diroBeiKvvovcrL ti a)? eanv r) ft)? ovk kaTiv
rj KaOoKov Tt aTToi^aivovTai. TeTupTov Be tcov Xeyofievcov rj 18



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