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Essential reading for all students of Greek theatre and literature, and equally stimulating for anyone interested in
In the Poetics, his near-contemporary account of classical Greek tragedy, Aristotle examine the dramatic elements of
plot, character, language and spectacle that combine to produce pity and fear in the audience, and asks why we derive
pleasure from this apparently painful process. Taking examples from the plays of Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides, the
Poetics introduced into literary criticism such central concepts as mimesis ('imitation'), hamartia ('error') and
katharsis, which have informed serious thinking about drama ever since. Aristotle explains how the most effective
tragedies rely on complication and resolution, recognition and reversals, while centring on chaaracerts of heroic
stature, idealised yet true to life. One of the most perceptive and influential works of criticism in Western literary
history, the Poetics has informed serious thinking about drama ever since.
Malcolm Heath's lucid translation makes the Poetics fully accessible to the modern reader. In this edition it is
accompanied by an extended introduction, which discusses the key concepts in detail, and includes suggestions for
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