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Aristotelian


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[a‐ris‐tŏ‐tee‐li‐ăn]

Belonging to or derived from the works of the Greek philosopher Aristotle (384–322 bce), the most important of all ancient philosophers in his influence on medieval science and logic, and on literary theory since the Renaissance. In his Poetics, Aristotle saw poetry in terms of the imitation or mimesis of human actions, and accordingly regarded the plot or mythos as the basic principle of coherence in any literary work, which must have a beginning, a middle, and an end. Since the Renaissance, his name has been associated most often with his concepts of tragic catharsis, anagnorisis, and unity of action (see unities). The Chicago critics have been regarded as Aristotelian in the renewed emphasis they gave to the importance of plot in literature.

Subjects: Literature.


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