The subject of the Poetics is poetry, including epic poetry, tragedy and comedy. Unlike Plato, Aristotle regards poetry as a techne. The practice of poetry is governed by rules; these rules can be formulated and taught. Poetry is rationally comprehensible.
The rules for a genre of poetry can be derived from examination of individual examples of that genre, eg, tragedy. The aim is to see what, eg, tragedies, have in common.
Aristotle agrees with Plato
showed first 75 words of 379 total
showed last 75 words of 379 total
of things that a certain type of person will probably or necessarily do or say in a given situation.
In order to produce the pleasure that is appropriate to tragedy, the plot itself must awaken fear and pity in the audience. In this way tragedy effects a healthy catharsis (purgation) of these emotions. Thus, Aristotle implicitly rejects Plato's view that the performance of a tragedy has a bad effect on the character of the audience.