Aristotles' Poetics Author:Translated by S.H. Butcher Excerpts from the introduction: The POETICS, shor as it is, is the most fundamental study we have of the art of drama. It has been used again and again, since the text was recovered in the early Renaissance, as a guide to the techniques of play-making, and as the basis of various theories of drama. — The text itself is incomp-lete, repetitious in... more » spots and badly organized. It probably represents part of a set of lecture notes, with later interpolations.
In writing the POETICS Aristotle apparently assumed that his readers would know his own philosophy, and also the plays and poems he discusses. Certain key terms can only be fully understood in the light of Aristotles' other writings. He does not intend the POETICS to be an exact science, or even a textbook..(it) is much more like a cookbook than it is like a textbook in elementary engineering."« less