Human Drama in Aristotle’s Poetics

Keywords: Aristotle, poetics, drama, person, existential injury, mimesis


The aim of this paper is to present drama as it figures in Aristotle’s Poetics as a human event. According to the author, reversing the mechanism of imitation (mimesis) used to create tragedy makes it possible to treat the Poetics as primarily a bearer of knowledge about actual persons. The feelings of pity and fear that should be aroused by tragedy reveal the essence of human drama per se. Such drama results from the fact that a person faces evil in the sense of a deficiency or lack of something affecting such aspects of their life as their integrity or self-perfection. It thus manifests our human proneness to mistakes, as well as susceptibility to existential injury, and in so doing emphasizes the impermanence of the human situation and existence itself.


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