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List of contents 


  • The Objects of Imitation
  • The Manner of Imitation
  • The Origin and Development of Poetry
  • Definition of the Ludicrous, and a brief sketch of the rise of Comedy
  • Definition of Tragedy
  • The Plot must be a Whole
  • The Plot must be a Unity
  • (Plot continued.) Dramatic Unity
  • (Plot continued.) Definitions of Simple and Complex Plots
  • (Plot continued.) Reversal of the Situation, Recognition, and Tragic or disastrous Incident defined and explained
  • The 'quantitative parts' of Tragedy defined
  • (Plot continued.) What constitutes Tragic Action
  • (Plot continued.) The tragic emotions of pity and fear should spring out of the Plot itself
  • The element of Character in Tragedy
  • (Plot continued.) Recognition: its various kinds, with examples
  • Practical rules for the Tragic Poet
  • Further rules for the Tragic Poet
  • Thought, or the Intellectual element, and Diction in Tragedy
  • Diction, or Language in general
  • Poetic Diction
  • XXII (Poetic Diction continued.) How Poetry combines elevation of language with perspicuity
  • Epic Poetry
  • (Epic Poetry continued.) Further points of agreement with Tragedy
  • Critical Objections brought against Poetry, and the principles on which they are to be answered
  • A general estimate of the comparative worth of Epic Poetry and Tragedy
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