Aristotle’s book, Poetics can be perceived in two significant ways. Firstly, the book clearly refutes Plato’s argument about poetry being an imitation and therefore it is false. Secondly the book is mainly about how tragedy is a superior form of poetry and art. It discusses the type of poetry called Epic Poetry but the book is concluded by placing Tragedy superior to Epic Poetry. The refutation to Plato’s argument is spread randomly across the book and it states clearly that poetry or art are indeed imitations but are not false or untrue. Aristotle moves on and explains it with an example. Plato called the imitator untrue on the basis that he imitates what is already a copy of that what is real and true in another realm of forms. Aristotle agrees that art and poetry are imitations but he discards the belief that they are not real.
He presents a logical argument in favour of poetry and art that could have aroused a desire of refutation is Plato had he been alive. Aristotle says that poetry and art are imitations of objects and experiences of human life. Just like philosophy is a kind of imitation of ideas present in the world. However, ideas philosophy discusses are as real as they can be and therefore objects and experiences portrayed by art are real too.
Aristotle defines poetry as an imitative use of language, rhythm and harmony. They may be used in a combined manner or individually. He also calls comedy and integral type of poetry that discusses base matters. Tragedy, whereas discusses important issues of the social world. Aristotle also states that tragedy is the form of poetry that is performed and not narrated. Tragedy brings about serious social and moral matters of a society. It has elements of rhythm and harmony that are used in different combinations. Tragedies are serious and are gull length proper stories. Moreover, tragedy is the kind of performed art that causes a release of emotions.
Aristotle points out that human cry when tragedy of a performed art hits them hard. They release emotion and that is called “katharsis” by him. He also mentions that we cry more over the tragedies of art than we do in our real life. The real life tragedies make us hard and performed tragedies help us release our emotion. For this reason, tragedy is a therapy for human mind’s emotional part. Performed shows end and life goes on so this can be viewed in a lighter way to get easy with life.
Plot has been called an important part of tragedy and it has been stated that a linked and connected plot is the best. Epic poetry is a form that is longer in length and covers more aspects as compared to tragic poetry; however, it cannot be performed and has to be narrated. Aristotle says that Tragedy is the best form of poetry and not epic poetry.