Compare and Contrast between Epic and Tragedy

Aristotle was born at a Greek colonial town in 384 B.C. He was a philosopher, moralist, psychologist, logician and a literary critic. He was the student of philosophic school of Plato in early age but in his old age he himself runs the school. His major works are literary essays, literary dialogues (except fragments other were lost), constitution of Athens and treatises. He died in 322 B.C.

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Aristotle’s theory of “Imitation”

Plato’s idea of imitation

Plato gives the example of carpenter who is making a bed. The idea of bed in the mind of a carpenter is real and bed is copy of that idea. So the idea of nature by God is real and nature is copy and poet copy the nature, so poetry twice removed from reality. It is a “shadow of shadows“, “copy of copy“.

Aristotle’s concept of imitation

Aristotle’s concept of Imitation is not mere copy but presentation of the ideal reality. Poet does not represent the outward appearance but represents deeper reality. A tragic poet represents the hero better than average which is representation of the idea of human nature, it is not mere representation of outward appearance. He says that poetry deals with ideal reality and the significance of poetic truth that is Universal, essential and permanent.
Aristotle says that poet is creator not mere copier.

Medium of poetry

In the kinds of fine arts like poetry, music and painting the medium of poetry and music is harmony and rhythm but the medium of painting is color and form. So, poetry linked with music not with painting. Language is also common element of poetry and music.

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