een good poets in each style, to demand that a single author should surpass the
peculiar merits of each. One must remember, as we have often said, not to make a
tragedy an epic structure: by epic I
mean made up of many stories—suppose, for instance, one were to dramatize
the IIiad as a whole.
The length of the IIiad allows to the parts their proper size, but in
plays the result is full of disappointment. And the proof is that all who have dramatized the Sack of
Troy as a whole, and not, like
Euripides, piecemeal, or the Niobe story as a whole and not like Aeschylus, either
fail or fare badly in competition. Indeed even Agathon failed in this point alone.
In "reversals," however, and in
"simple" storiesi.e., those that have no
"Discovery" or "Reversal." See chapter 10. too,they admirably achieve their end, which is a tragic
effect that also satisfies your feelings. This is achieved when the wise man, who is, however,
narrative of each), few plays can be made out of them but many out
of the Cypria or the Little Iliad, which are
merely collections of lays on similar themes.
The result is that out of an
Iliad or an Odyssey only one tragedy can be made,
or two at most, whereas several have been made out of the Cypria, and
out of the Little Iliad more than eight, e.g. The Award of
Arms, Philoctetes, Neoptolemus,
Eurypylus, The Begging, The Laconian
Women, The Sack of Troy, and Sailing of the Fleet, and
Sinon, too, and The Trojan Women. The next point is
that there must be the same varieties of epic as of tragedySee Aristot. Poet.
18.4.: an epic must be "simple or complex,"See chapter 10. or else turn on "character" or on "calamity."
The constituent parts, too, are
the same with the exception of song and spectacle. Epic needs reversals and
discoveries and calamities, and the thought and diction too must be good. All these were used
happens if A happens, people think that if B is true A must be true or happen. But
that is false. Consequently if A be untrue but there be something else, B, which is
necessarily true or happens if A is true, the proper thing to do is to posit B, for,
knowing B to be true, our mind falsely infers that A is true also. This is an
example from the Washing.Odyssey 19.
Odysseus tells Penelope that he is a Cretan from Gnossus, who once entertained
O. on his voyage to Troy. As evidence,
he describes O.'s dress and his companions (Hom. Od.
19.164-260). P. commits the fallacy of inferring the truth of the
antecedent from the truth of the consequent: “If his story were true,
he would know these details; But he does know them; Therefore his story is
true.” The artist in fiction uses the same fallacy, e.g.:
“If chessmen could come to life the white knight would be a duffer;
But he is a most awful duffer （look at him!）; Therefor