Aristotle’s Poetics

an epigram for something contextual:
    “…for if an artist were to daub his canvas with the most beautiful colours laid on at random, he would not give the same pleasure as he would by drawing a recognisable image in black and white.”

on the properties of thought:
    “Character is that which reveals personal choice; thus there is no revelation of character in speeches in which the speaker shows no preferences or aversions whatever.”

on the scope of the plot:
    “A minutely small creature, therefore, would not be beautiful… nor would an extremely large one, for it could not be taken in all at once, and its unity and wholeness would be lost to the view of the beholder—if, for example, there were a creature a thousand miles long.”
            Here he ignores the unity of the percieved image: whichever viewed section of the creature creates its own beauty in the mind, where it exists independently as a complete “whole”. In fact, in real life, as in art, we very rarely see the whole of anything, though art can be said to be achieve “unity”, and both can be said to be “complete”.

on unity of plot:
    “…if the presence or absence of something makes no apparent difference, it is no real part of the whole.”

on simple and complex plots:
    “…there is a big difference between what happens as a result of something else and what merely happens after it.”

on tragic action:
    “It follows in the first place that good men should not be shown passing from prosperity to misery, for this does not inspire fear or pity, it merely disgusts us.”

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