Blog Prompt 9: What kinds of imitation does Aristotle identify in poetry and tragedy? Does Aristotle convey a positive sense of the role of imitation in art? Do you think that his understanding of art in terms of imitation provide a useful way to understand what art is?

It seems to me that Aristotle sees poetry to be everything. It being a way to plant a picture but not just a picture but a painting in action. An action that tells us so much about it self that we have it so many way to see it and or to consider it.


Aristotle  —- Notes on article !!!!!

Aristotle starts of with the positive notion that poem can be more than what they seem. He explains so by adding that the meaning of the poem isn’t always clear and it could be attached to other subjects as well. He also gives examples of other creative acts that do not create but rather imitate and or make copes of the original. Aristotle uses the word poet as an example saying that it is what we call people who create imitation however there are other professions in which people imitate things. So Aristotle thinks that is a poet is someone who imitates isn’t everyone who imitates a poet.

Part II )  (goodness of badness) 

The lines which Aristotle pants here are clear you can ether be good or bad. He adds to that idea of our own knowledge of good and bad comes from our self life. The imitations or the people who are created or talked about in this art is what we are looking at. However when we look at them we don’t see them as objects but rather as real people who we can compare our self too. However sometimes it is difficult to compare sense the world the live in is all made up. We our self don’t live in such a world yet we play along with the story and the people depicted in them.

III)  How is the person being imitated 

A) is it written in first person 

B) or dose the story just adds to the person we already know about.

 komai – Athnians (demoi) – komazein – to revel – but – Dorian word for ‘doing’ is dran – Athenian, prattein 

IV)  2 causes for poetry 

“Imitation, then is one instinct of our nature”

According to Aristotle we have the need to copy anything we see. To tell a story of what could have or may have happened. In addition we connect to it because the events that we imitate are similar to the ones that had happened to us. And by imitating them we my actually learn something about our past.

_Harmony and rhythm_ 

Aristotle points out that a person with “spherical aptitudes” are the ones that can do such a thing. Poetry can take one of two roads, road one being (graver spirits imitated actions) meaning a person will pick a man that did some good and imitate him. Number two type is a big more completed  that will have gods and man that are already famous shown in a positive light. 


Aristotle writes that no one earlier than Homer was never documented to write the way Homer has written. Calling his work (iambic or lampooning measures. According to him it is Homer who put together dramatic and excellence of imitation. 

_Tragedy & Comedy_

According to Aristotle out to the two tragedy is much more difficult to act than Comedy.  Comedy is the successor because it isn’t as hard to write and reenact. Both however have changed over time and improved them self. Aristotle dose not that after making those changes that improved them they stop expending. The changes that were made were music, dance and the amount of actors.  Another addition to the list of changes was dialogue, meaning the actors would verbalize what was going on. They would have actual conversations between one another.

Part v) “It consists in some defect or ugliness which is not painful or destructive.” This quote addresses the masks that were used in the pays that were taking place. Another thing that Aristotle notes is that comedy has no history, because in those time comedy wasn’t  coming from true events. Meaning they didn’t make a joke of actual history as we do now.

Comedy’s characters weren’t viewed as hight up as those who where characters that were in tragedy. Another difference between comedy and tragedy was the amount of time to act out all the events. Comedy was much shorter however tragedy took its time playing out its events. “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.” this quote sums up the idea between epic poem and tragedy.

Part VI )  Tragedy – pity and fear

There are different ways the story teller can affect you according to Aristotle those ways are verbal and rhythm in which you hear music that applies you to a keep feeling you have. This idea tells us that we feel more when we hear music that we connect to something sad and we are happy when the music is turned to the happy moments. Meaning to make us feel the creator of the play of movie uses different music to get different emotions.

Aristotle points out that it isn’t the character we are connecting to but his or her actions. The role they are playing, the good or bad things he or she is doing. Putting our self in that frame of thought be is positive or negative.

Aristotle – Tragedy – 6 parts 

quality  – namely 

  1. Plot 
  2. Character 
  3. Dictation 
  4. Thought 
  5. spectale 
  6. some 

Most important – Structure of incident 

What we see unfolding in the events is not the man but his actions. Actions being what he dose what he takes a role in and how that effects the rest of his story. According to Aristotle it is the events or actions of the person playing a role that we are connecting to.

Polygnotus delineates character well; the style of Zeuxis is devoid of ethical quality” According to Aristotle we get into the story more when you have special effects. That without them we wouldn’t connect as much as we do to the events that are taking place. It is those effects that paint a clear picture and force us to see  the events which are taking place.

  • 1 Plot is the first needed special effect according to Aristotle, it makes things more realistic and easer to picture 
  • 2 Character – moral purpose
  • 3 Thought – what events can actually happen
  • 4 The meaning of events – and how they come into play.

remaning – Song plays a great role when it comes to emotions that can be felt from a sad song.

Part VII)

Tragedy – beginning – middle – end 

beginning – is not thing but a pass time before an event is to happen

end -is the end there is no events after the end has come

middle – to be a middle something before and after must happen 

  • to make a great ending a lesson must be learned  

Beautiful things have a size to them to – meaning you can not find something beautiful if it is too small nor can it be to big. Aristotle writes that there is a size to things, and when an item is too small you don’t get much detail. However when it is too big you can not take in all its beauty at ones.

Aristotle also mentions the importance of the time which the play or movie take up. He explains that there is such thing as too long and too short. In too long you don’t get to see the story in great detail however in little time you only get a little detail. There is also the notion that a story can be too long where you go off and there is too much to remember. When you have to much to remember you can not see the full reason behind what it being shown.

Aristotle tells us that there is the right amount of time for a story teller. It is that time that gives us the ability to see the how beautiful it really is, it also gives us time to explain the events that are happen.

Part VIII) 

 Unity dose not come from the hero of person you are learning about in the story but rather their “action”

If a story has one main character it has unity, however according to Aristotle there is such thing as not telling the full story making the character that much more interested. But he points out there is still just that one main person which we are to learn about, during the events in the story.

art – imitation 

       plot – action (structural union) 

presence or absence make no visible difference 

Part IX )  Probability or necessity 

We aren’t as in the character him or her self but rather in the events that happened in the story or could happen. It is our need to know more that drives us to knowledge.

Philosophical  / higher than history – 4 two reasons 

Reason # 1 being that be apply it to our own life

Reason # 2 being we think those events may happen to us

Universal – suggesting that we act like the characters we read about or how our actions can be similar in nature 

Comedy -has some made up names however tragedies use real names. Meaning real as in of people that actually those events haven to happen to. It is only sometime that fake or made up names are used in tragedies. More times than not the names used in tragedies are the names of the people the events actually happened to.

poet – maker

The  time takes takes to cover all of the story is too time consuming. And because the maker isn’t making history he can change it as he sees fit. Even tho everyone may know the story well the change here and there would not give displeasure to those who know the true story.

episodic – worst according to Aristotle 

episodic – are those work of arts that over do with so many events, and each even being more eventful than the one that came before it. Those  eventful events also according to Aristotle make the story longer than necessary.


Tragedy  isn’t always exactly the story, however it dose always come with “fear or pity” according to Aristotle. He points out the reason we are so interested in the story is because if surprises us with these events.  We are also more interesting in “cause and effect” rather than “accidents”. This is the reason for making such little events as meaning for as those of larger nature. The two are not done by chance but rather planed out ahead of time.

Part X ) Plots are ether Simple or Complex

Plots – imitation -similar 

 change – must have change if events (Reversal of the Situation) 

Change must also happen in “structure of the plot”

Part XI )  Reversal of the Situation = Change 

Recognition – name indicated 

If we know the story of a persons story by his or her name we kill off our need to learn more. But by using a changing events under the name of the person those events happen to makes us much more interested in what is to accrue next.

If we know the person’s story we will connect the events that happen to the person’s name. However if someone wants to change the events that happen we are more interested of the events to come.

The basics of good store is “pity and fear” – is they that connect us to the character both mentally and emotionally


A story can not be with one one character being connected to one in past history, if a story has one that is connect the other too must connect to history. Both characters must but one the same level of “recognition”

“Scene of Suffering” – destructive, painful action, such as death – bodily, agony, wounds  …

Part XII) quantitative parts –  separate parts into which Tragedy is divided

  1. Prologue – endure part – tragedy precedes  Parode of the chorus 
  2. Episode tragedy which is between complete choric songs 
  3. Exode -which has no choric song after it 
  4. Choric song    A) Parode & B) Stasimon 

Commos – joint lamentation 

Choric  ode – without anapests or trochaic tetrameters ]

Common – joint lamentation of chorus and actors 

quantitative parts – divide are here enumerated 

Part XIII )  aim at – what to avoid 

perfect tragedy – complex plan

actions – exit pity and dear 

                       distinctive mark 

                       tragic imitation 

Spectacle of a virtuous 

                                   man brother from prosperity to adversity  (movies neither pity nor fear)

                                   bad man passing from adversity to prosperity (alien of the spirit of tragedy) 

                                                                                                            No single tragic quality 


                                                                                                   Moral sense not calls forth pity or fear


                                                                                     Should the down tall of the utter villain be exhibited 

Plot – must satisfy the moral senses.

Character – two extremes 

                  man who is not all good or just 

                  yet has a sad back story one can sympathize with.

well constructed plot 

                                 -one issue than double “maintain”

                                  change should be neither good nor bad but have a good outcome from a bad beginning

                                  have a character flaw 

                                 show views 

                                 those others who have done or suffered something terrible 

end unhappy – rich ending  – making things tragic if effect 

Second Rank  – double thread of plot 

  • quite the stage as friends at the close, and no one clays of it slain 

Part XIV ) 

Fear & Pity 

                 may aroused by spectacular means 

                                           spectacular – pretty in nature 

                also recut from inner structure 

                                           Structure – how the story is composed  (Superior poet) 

                                           this is when your effected but by the visual but the quality of the writing 

Circumstances which store us as terrible or pitiful  

                                                                               to feel for the person in the story we must first connect with that individual

Near and Dear to one another – we like when the people hurting each other have a connection to each other 

                                                   if two strangers hurt each other we don’t feel for them as we would for two connected people

Third ) case – ( to be about to act with knowledge of the persons and then not to act. )

Fourth ) case – cause of frustration is when someone is to commit an act and right before the act is preformed the person which was to commit this act finds out something new. The act must be done with full awareness non at all.

According to Aristotle knowing about something and not acting on what you have knowledge of isn’t the greatest thing to do.

Aristotle writes we enjoy more to find out the facts after the event has accrued in the story rather than knowing it all along.

Without failure we can not have greatness it is only after we fail that we try again and do better. It is that too better that is riving us furred than we ever thought possible.

Part XV )

Character 4 things to time at 

                            first ) If the character is to play a positive role his actions leading up to those must be positive as well.

                     Second ) “valor” – only a characteristic appropriate for males. valor – great courage 

                       Thirdly ) The character should come from real life person, who’s  events would also be true 

                        fourth ) “consistency” when creating a Character you shouldn’t jump about with his or hers personality

Structure – “Necessity or of probability” As you write something every detail must be over looked to lead up to the ending you are trying to achieve.  You should also think of probability if this than that and add that into your writing as well.  Events should “unravel” before you as you read the story or watch a film.

Nothing irrational – when writing about events one must think about what can actually happen. Tragedy has people who are “above common level” so according to Aristotle they should be addressed as such because they are of importance.

Aristotle sugest we use these because they will make our work better. That the senses are still there so we value to have events that happen in order and that are done is this specific way.

Part XVI )    Recognition – kinds 

                            First ) poverty – by signs 

                                                     bodily marks 


                                     used as – proof 

incident – an event or occurrence : Several amusing incidents 

             A violent event, such as a fracas or assault : one person was stabbed in the incident

    To tell the background you could have your character discuss it or write about it making that background information available without using visuals.

          Third kind – memory – hearing, seeing something from the past that makes someone emotional adding feeling to your  story. 

          Fourth kind – Process of reasoning (if this than that + connection)

lookout for – false inferences 

  • Best recognition arises from events which come into play. – Next – Recognition by process of reasoning 

Part XVII ) utmost vividness – spectator of the action – discover – keeping with it however – overlook inconsistencies 


Fault – piece  failed – the audience being offended at the over sight 

Workout  the play down to details. 

                                                     appropriate gestures   ( lifelike reality ) 

  (First sketch its general outline, and then fill in the episodes and amplify in detail.)

Part XVIII )   Complication & Unraveling or Denouement 

Action / Character  – who is the movie about 

spectacle – powers (music, color that adds to the story which is being tolled) (only one man can save every one) 

suffering – sad events that happen.

hero / flaw – actions that are done by the person you see in the movie or read of in the book

Learning — 

Pity / fear – relating your sad event to the movie .

catharsis (purgation) -his a hero but it killed them ( happy ending )

Reversal / Recognition – we uncover something we didn’t know before. ( recognition – when we didn’t know what was going to happen) – thinking something good happen however the events that do happy are very negative.

arrival – movie 

                    Atonement – the movie


  Atonement the movie has great characters it has a family full of them and in addition to that it has the families of the people working for them. The rich family which has about anything one can dream of has to daughters and the poor family which doesn’t even have a father works for them. The only son that works for them lives not far off on the property owned by the people he works for. He doesn’t live alone but rather with his mother who seems to be in good spirits. The rich family he works for is like family even tho he isn’t of their class and he works for them they still invite him to parties. Parties which both of the sisters attend, he clearly has a eye for older sister. Which can also be understanding due to the father the younger one is underage and is way too young for him. He treats the young one as if she was his little sister but the other one and him have a more hands on relationship witch isn’t something siblings have. There are also the two sisters relatives who move in, and a friend who comes for a visit.


There are several spectacles that happen in the movie the music keeps changing and at the main event when the young man is accused of rape it is this fast music. It really leaves you at the end of your set as he is found and locked up. But before any of that happens there is a time when the young man who has a relationship with the older sister walks in and sees her in this green dress. The dress is has not to notice, and was used in the movie for a reason. In fact when interviewed the people who put the movie together said they wanted her to wear something she would be noticed in and she clearly is.


There is two sufferings that take place there is the accusal of being the man who rapes. And the person who pointed the finger at him, the person to point it was the younger sister who he always thought of as a little sister. After the finger is pointed at him, he is locked away. And during the time of locking him up there is a war that starts that gives  the people who are locked up to redeem them selfs. He takes them up on that offer and goes to war, during the war he gets hurt and dies.


There are two hero flaws first you have this view of a nice guy who ends up being locked up for rape. Than only letter in the story this hero little girl that pointed the finger at him comes to the conclusion she was wrong. 


At one point the story stopes and the camera is turned to his other woman who explains what really happen. The older woman is the one who wrote it she is also that little girl who pointed the finger. She lives with this guilt that because of her  her sister can not be happy with the man she loves. And the man she and her sister both loved is dead trying to redeem him self for something he didn’t even do.

Pity / fear

Pity and fear come from with, no one would want to serve time for a crime they didn’t commit. This also explains this fear that things aren’t always as they appear to be. There are times when we miss read things or add to them as the author of story tells her as the camera is focused on her face.

Reversal / Recognition

Up to the point where the older woman is shown we see the couple together and even tho he had served sometime happy together. However as the older woman explains she wanted to give them that happen ending because she couldn’t fix the real events. The two of them really died alone he died in the war and her sister he was very said after those events left home and died too. In the author didn’t give that interview the people watching or those who read her book would have never really known the true ending of things.


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