This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
1 Teucer, returning to Salamis in disguise and seeing a portrait of his dead father Telamon, burst into tears and was thus discovered. So, too, in The Two Gentlemen of Verona Julia is discovered because she swoons on hearing Valentine offer Sylvia to his rival.
3 A Sophist who either wrote an Iphigeneia with this denouement or more probably suggested in a work of criticism (cf. Aristot. Poet. 17.6) that Orestes on being led to his fate should speculate aloud upon the odd coincidence that both he and his sister should be sacrificed, thus revealing his identity to Iphigeneia. Like most critics, Polyidos would have been a poor dramatist. There is an example of this form of discovery in the French opera Coeur de Lion, where the old knight says "goddam" and is thus discovered to be an Englishman.
4 In these cases the inference was presumably uttered aloud and hence the identity of the speakers discovered. Nothing else is known of these plays.
5 The text is obscure, and our ignorance of the play or rhapsody adds to the darkness, but the reference may be to the ruse, common in detective stories, of misleading the audience by false clues in order to make the final revelation more effective.
6 The classical example of these tokens in English drama is "the strawberry mark on the left arm" in Box and Cox. But Aristotle seems here to use "tokens" in a wider sense than at the beginning of the chapter and to include not only birthmarks, necklaces, etc., but any statement or action which may be used as a sign in the scene of Discovery.
7 The example is obscure. Clearly Carcinus introduced an absurdity which escaped notice until the play was staged. Margoliouth suggests that if Amphiaraus were a god he should come down, and if a mere hero, he sould not have a temple. In The Master of Ballantrae Mrs. Henry cleans a sword by thrusting it up to the hilt in the ground—which is iron-bound by frost. The would be noticed on the stage: a reader may miss the incongruity.
8 Sir Joshua Reynolds used thus to simulate emotion before a mirror. In his Preface to the Lyrical Ballads Wordsworth says that the Poet will wish "to bring his feelings near to those of the persons whose feelings he describes . . . and even confound and identify his own feelings with theirs." See also Burke, On the Sublime and Beautiful,4. 4.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.