Theatre of the Greeks ... information relative to the rise, progress, and exhibition of the drama; together with an account of dramatic writers from Thespis to Menander: to which is added, a chronology and an appendix [compiled by P.W. Buckham].
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Page 169 - Such diversities may be found even in dancing, flute-playing, and lyre-playing. So again in language, whether prose or verse unaccompanied by music. Homer, for example, makes men better than they are; Cleophon as they are; Hegemon the Thasian, the inventor of parodies, and Nicochares, the author of the Deiliad, worse than they are.
Page 172 - A whole is that which has a beginning, a middle, and an end. A beginning is that which does not itself follow anything by causal necessity, but after which something naturally is or comes to be. An end, on the contrary, is that which itself naturally follows some other thing, either by necessity or as a rule, but has nothing following it. A middle is that which follows something...
Page 180 - Impiger, iracundus, inexorabilis, acer, Jura neget sibi nata, nihil non arroget armis ; Sit Medea ferox invictaque, flebilis Ino, Perfidus Ixion, lo vaga, tristis Orestes.
Page 182 - But of all discoveries the best is that which arises from the action itself, and in which a striking effect is produced by probable incidents. Such is that in the Oedipus of Sophocles: and that in the Iphigenia; for nothing more natural than her desire of conveying the letter.
Page 179 - To execute through ignorance, and afterwards to discover, is better: for thus the shocking atrociousness is avoided, and, at the same time, the discovery is striking. But the best of all these ways is the last. Thus, in the tragedy of Cresphontes, Merope, in the very act of putting her son to death, discovers him, and is prevented.
Page 174 - As, therefore, in other mimetic arts, one imitation is an imitation of one thing, so here the fable, being an imitation of an action, should be an imitation of an action that is one and entire, the parts of it being so connected that if any one of them be either transposed or taken away, the whole will be destroyed or changed; for whatever may be either retained or omitted, without making any sensible difference, is not properly a part.
Page 183 - Iliad. Further: there is less unity in all epic imitation, as appears from this — that any epic poem will furnish matter for several tragedies. For, supposing the poet to choose a fable strictly one, the consequence must be either that his poem, if proportionably contracted, will appear curtailed and defective, or, if extended to the usual length, will become weak and, as it were, diluted. If, on the other hand, we suppose him to employ several fables — that is, a fable composed of several actions...
Page 183 - Among the many just claims of Homer to our praise, this is one — that he is the only poet who seems to have understood what part in his poem it was proper for him to take himself. The poet, in his own person, should speak as little as possible ; for he is not then the imitator.