Poetics

Front Cover
Harvard University Press, Jan 1, 1995 - Literary Criticism - 533 pages
309 Reviews
This volume brings together the three most original and influential ancient Greek treatises on literature. Artistotle's Poetics contains his treatment of Greek tragedy: its history, nature, and conventions, with details on poetic diction. Stephen Halliwell makes this seminal work newly accessible with a reliable text and a translation that is both accurate and readable. His authoritative introduction traces the work's debt to earlier theorists (especially Plato), its distinctive argument, and the reasons behind its enduring relevance. The essay On the Sublime, usually attributed to "Longinus" (identity uncertain), was probably composed in the first century A.D.; its subject is the appreciation of greatness ("the sublime") in writing, with analysis of illustrative passages ranging from Homer and Sappho to Plato and Genesis. In this edition, Donald Russell has judiciously revised and newly annotated the text and translation by W. Hamilton Fyfe and provides a new introduction. The treatise On Style, ascribed to an (again unidentifiable) Demetrius, was perhaps composed during the second century B.C. It seems to reflect the theoretical energy of Hellenistic rhetorical works now lost, and is notable particularly for its theory and analysis of four distinct styles (grand, elegant, plain, and forceful). Doreen Innes' fresh rendering of the work is based on the earlier Loeb translation by W. Rhys Roberts. Her new introduction and notes represent the latest scholarship.
  

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User ratings

5 stars
102
4 stars
96
3 stars
66
2 stars
34
1 star
11

Quite short but full of great advice. - Goodreads
The plot is the source and the soul of tragedy. - Goodreads
Valuable insight on story structure. - Goodreads
The best book on the mechanics of writing ever written. - Goodreads
But very dense and hard to read. - Goodreads
... a good reference. - Goodreads

Review: Poetics

User Review  - Nathan Bissett - Goodreads

There's not much more for me to say than I absolutely love Aristotle's Poetics. It's a great look into his opinion on the ideal Greek tragedy and what they are made up of. I enjoy being able to ... Read full review

Review: Poetics

User Review  - Meghan - Goodreads

It is really hard to justify giving Aristotle three stars when I have given five to contemporary romance novels. Reading this, it is clear that the man was a genius, and it is fascinating to see how ... Read full review

Contents

ON THE SUBLIME
143
ON STYLE
309

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About the author (1995)

Aristotle, 384 B.C. - 322 B. C. Aristotle was born at Stagira, in Macedonia, in 384 B.C. At the age of 17, he went to Athens to study at Plato's Academy, where he remained for about 20 years, as a student and then as a teacher. When Plato died in 347 B.C., Aristotle moved to Assos, a city in Asia Minor, where a friend of his, Hermias, was ruler. After Hermias was captured and executed by the Persians in 345 B.C., Aristotle went to Pella, the Macedonian capital, where he became the tutor of the king's young son Alexander, later known as Alexander the Great. In 335, when Alexander became king, Aristotle returned to Athens and established his own school, the Lyceum Aristotle's works were lost in the West after the decline of Rome, but during the 9th Century A.D., Arab scholars introduced Aristotle, in Arabic translation, to the Islamic world. In the 13th Century, the Latin West renewed its interest in Aristotle's work, and Saint Thomas Aquinas found in it a philosophical foundation for Christian thought. The influence of Aristotle's philosophy has been pervasive; it has even helped to shape modern language and common sense. Aristotle died in 322 B.C.

Stephen Halliwell is Professor of Greek, University of St. Andrews.

Donald A. Russell is Emeritus Professor of Classical Literature, University of Oxford, and Emeritus Fellow of St. John's College, Oxford.

Doreen C. Innes is Fellow in Classics, St. Hilda's College, Oxford.