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The universality of poetry in Aristotle’s Poetics

Heath, M. (1991) The universality of poetry in Aristotle’s Poetics. Classical Quarterly, 41 (2). pp. 389-402. ISSN 0009-8388

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Abstract

This paper considers three questions arising out of Aristotle's statement that poetry is concerned with the universal. First, what does it mean? Secondly, what constraints does it impose on the construction of (in particular) tragic plots? This question is considered with special reference to the possible role of chance in tragedy. Thirdly, why is poetry concerned with the universal— that is, why is poetry such that these constraints are appropriate?

In chapter 9 of the Poetics Aristotle states that poetry is concerned with the universal. In this paper I shall consider three questions arising out of this statement. First, what does it mean? Secondly, what constraints does it impose on the construction of (in particular) tragic plots? I shall consider this question with special reference to the possible role of chance in tragedy. Thirdly, why is poetry concerned with the universal—that is, why is poetry such that these constraints are appropriate?

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: © 1991 The Classical Association. This is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Classical Quarterly following peer review. The definitive publisher-authenticated version can be found in Classical Quarterly 41(2) (1991), 389-402.
Institution: The University of Leeds
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Arts (Leeds) > School of Humanities (Leeds) > Classics (Leeds)
Depositing User: Repository Officer
Date Deposited: 30 Jun 2005
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2014 09:36
Status: Published
Refereed: Yes
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/523

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