AD's English Literature : Theory and criticism: Aristotle : His Major Works

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Theory and criticism: Aristotle : His Major Works

Theory and criticism: Aristotle

Aristotle (384-322 bc), Greek philosopher and scientist

When Plato died in 347 bc, 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. Because much of the discussion in his school took place while teachers and students were walking about the Lyceum grounds, Aristotle's school came to be known as the Peripatetic (“walking” or “strolling”) school. 

His Major Works:

Poetics : Aristotle's Poetics may be one of the most influential documents ever produced on the art of the drama. The text is probably a transcription of lectures on the art of dramatic literature given to a group of students. In this excerpt, Aristotle defines the nature of tragic drama, discusses the six essential elements of drama, states his opinion on the best type of tragic plot, and suggests the most effective means to arouse essential emotions such as pity and fear. For centuries, scholars have regarded the Poetics as the definitive statement on playwriting, although the precise meaning of Aristotle's ideas is debated to this day.

Aristotle's lecture notes for carefully outlined courses treating almost every branch of knowledge and art. The texts on which Aristotle's reputation rests are largely based on these lecture notes, which were collected and arranged by later editors.

The texts are treatises on logic, called Organon (“instrument”).
 His works on natural science include Physics, which gives a vast amount of information on astronomy, meteorology, plants, and animals.

His writings on the nature, scope, and properties of being, which Aristotle called First Philosophy (Protē philosophia), were given the title Metaphysics in the first published edition of his works (60?bc), because in that edition they followed Physics.
His treatment of the Prime Mover, or first cause, as pure intellect, perfect in unity, immutable, and, as he said, “the thought of thought,” is given in the Metaphysics.
To his son Nicomachus he dedicated his work on ethics, called the Nicomachean Ethics. It is an analysis of character and intelligence as they relate to happiness.  

Other essential works include his Rhetoric, his Poetics (which survives in incomplete form), and his Politics (also incomplete).

Ardhendu De 

Theory and criticism: Aristotle: on imitation in poetry: Comparison with Plato’s view

Theory and criticism: Aristotle: on imitation in poetry

Theory and criticism: Aristotle: Characteristics of an Aristotelian Plot

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