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1 Hom. Il. 2.155-181, where it is only the arbitrary (i.e., uncaused) intervention of Athene which stays the flight of the Greeks. In the Medea the heroine, having killed her rival and her children, is spirited away in the chariot ot the Sun, a result not "caused" by what has gone before.
2 The μηχανή or "car" was a sort of crane with a pulley attached, which was fixed at the top of the back-scene in the left corner of the stage. By it a god or hero could be lowered or raised or exhibited motionless in mid-air. Weak dramatists thus introduced a car to "cut the knot" by declaring the denouement instead of unravelling the plot by the logic of cause and effect. It was presumably on such a "car" that Medea was borne away.
3 i.e., Oedipus had killed Laius in a wayside quarrel, not knowing who he was. When his subjects at Thebes crave his help to remove the curse which is blighting their crops, he pledges himself to discover the murderer of Laius. It may seem odd that he should not know enough about the details of the murder to connect it in his mind with his own murderous quarrel. But that was long ago, and neither an audience nor a novel-reader is critical about incidents which occur long before the point at which the story begins. See chapter Aristot. Poet. 24.20.
4 Apparently a note on Achilles which has been copied by mistake into the text.
5 i.e., stage-craft rather than staging.
6 As distinct from the body of "esoteric" doctrine circulated by oral teaching among Aristotle's pupils.
7 In chapter 11.
8 A prolific tragedian of the early fourth century. The family are agreeably ridiculed in Aristophanes' Wasps.
9 These were "birth-marks." The "spear-head" distinguished the descendants of the Spartoi at Thebes; the star or bright spot on the descendants of Pelops commemorated his ivory shoulder, and in Carcinus's play it seems to have survived cooking.
10 A play by Sophocles. Tyro's twins by Poseidon, who appeared to her in the guise of the river Enipeus, were exposed in a little boat or ark, like Moses in the bulrushes, and this led to their identification.
11 Hom. Od. 19.386ff., 205ff. The first came about automatically, the second was a deliberate demonstration "to prove the point." Aristotle here distinguishes between a discovery inevitably produced by the logic of events (e.g. it was inevitable or at least probable that Odysseus, arriving as a strange traveller, should be washed by Eurycleia, and that she should thus see the old scar on his thigh and discover his identity) and a discovery produced by a deliberate declaration (e.g. Odysseus's declaration of his identity to Eumaeus). The latter kind is "manufactured by the poet," not logically caused by what has gone before.
14 To prove his identity Orestes mentions Pelops' lance and other "things from home," which is much the same as producing visible tokens.
15 When Philomela's tongue was cut out, she wove in embroidery the story of her rape by Tereus. Thus the facts were discovered to her sister, Procne, by deliberate demonstration.
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