Aristotle's Poetics : A Course of Eight Lectures by Humphry House

By Humphry House

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9 The Second Stage of Aristotle s Life On Plato's death in 347 and the succession of his nephew, Speusippus, to the headship of the Academy (which Aristotle, not being an Athenian, could not inherit), Aristotle left Athens together with a fellow-mem2. 28 Academy called Xenocrates, and went to Assos (in the Troad) ; from there he moved three years later to Mytilene in Lesbos, "where burning Sappho loved and sung"; and then, two years later again, he accepted an invitation from Philip of Macedon to become ber of the tutor to his son Alexander.

Vii (p. 40) that a * Tragedy must have a "beginning, a middle and an end" is thus related to his whole view of the scope of the poet as a "maker". The beginning and end are matters within the poet's control, and on his determination of them depend the bounds of the unity which is the essential characteristic of all works of art, and of a plot as distinct from a story. There are two points I want to make about beginnings (a) "A beginning is that which is not itself necessarily : after JAW vii, p.

24 Quomodo rratScuv adulescens poetas aywyfj? De liberis edu- civilisation. And about the gods he says called Zeus "the father of gods and men", by analogy from the relation of a king to his people, which itself reflected the relation of a father to his family. loped a high that Homer In other words, the Olympian system in Homer, he realised, was the kind of religion which grew out of an early state of society. A poet using the traditional system was making no claim for its theological truth, and Aris- did not take very seriously the danger Plato saw in it.

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