La Poetics, Aristotle’s work
We are facing one of the most important works of the Greek philosopher Aristotle: the poetics. This work was written during the fourth century BC, in which we are told about the forms of the genres that were the most acclaimed: tragedy, comedy and epic.
This work can be considered as an authentic manual about tragedy, since it teaches us the main characteristics of this genre. There are also comparisons with other disciplines. Without a doubt, the intentionality of this text is to show how to do a good literary work. The work originates is formed by a total of 26 chapters in which the entire theme is treated.
The work begins by talking about imitation, mimesis. Aristotle tells us that the arts are imitations. The way to use mimesis is with rhythm, language and harmony. For Aristotle, literature, is the art that mimics reality using language. It should be noted that at this time the term literature is not yet in use, so what we know as literature today is for the Greek culture of this era poetry. To do poetry there are two ways according to Aristotle himself, the first would be narrating the facts in the first person, as in Homer’s works, or with the exhibition of emotions and feelings. This is nothing other than epic and tragedy.
As Aristotle himself tells us, poetry appears because the human being wants to imitate reality, imitate it through harmony and rhythm. This is why poetry arises, the art of imitating through the use of language. Aristotle also points to us the birth of epic and comedy, with its well detailed characteristics. Comedy for Aristotle is a kind of mockery, imitation, of man’s most stupic personalities. On the tragedy and the epic, we must emphasize the differences that jump between them. The metric, extension and narrative form are different. The tragedy is a high imitation and has six parts: fable, characters, diction, thought, show and melody. The end of the tragedy is the imitation of the events that occurred by man along with his feelings, there is a debate about whether the tragedy is above the epic, since the tragedy has a launch scene and music that makes its message is enhanced.
Aristotle also makes distinction between poetry and history. In ancient times, everything was written in verse, so there was a thought that defended that everything written in verse was poetry. That is why Aristotle makes this distinction among those who make literature or scientific productions. In the words of Aristotle himself “the difference is that one says what has happened, and the other, what could happen. That is why poetry is also more philosophical and high than history, because poetry says rather and history, the particular ”.
Aristotle’s poetics is undoubtedly one of the great treaties of the Greek philosopher, a work that has been in force over time and has been very studied and taken as a reference.