Aristotle’s theory of “Imitation”

Introduction: Aristotle’s concept of Imitation is explained from Poetics point of view.

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 or Theory 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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