Poetics

by

Aristotle

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Lyric Poetry Term Analysis

Lyric poetry is one of the component parts of tragedy. Lyric poetry is verse put to song, and it is not found in epic poetry. Lyric poetry (in addition to spectacle) “is a source of great pleasure,” Aristotle argues, because human beings have a natural proclivity for rhythm and music. Lyric poetry is one of the reasons why Aristotle maintains that tragedy is superior to epic poetry.

Lyric Poetry Quotes in Poetics

The Poetics quotes below are all either spoken by Lyric Poetry or refer to Lyric Poetry. For each quote, you can also see the other terms and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Tragedy vs. Epic Poetry  Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin Classics edition of Poetics published in 1997.
Chapter 4 Quotes

So tragedy as a whole necessarily has six component parts, which determine the tragedy’s quality. The medium of imitation comprises two parts, the mode one, and object three; and there is nothing apart from these.

Related Characters: Aristotle (speaker)
Page Number: 11
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 12 Quotes

Tragedy has everything epic does (and it can even make use of its verse-form), and additionally it has a major component part music and spectacle; this is a source of intense pleasure. […] Also, the end of imitation is attained in shorter length; what is more concentrated is more pleasant than what is watered down by being more extended in time ( I mean, for example, if one were to turn Sophocles’ Oedipus into as many lines as the Iliad has).

Related Characters: Aristotle (speaker), Sophocles, Homer
Related Symbols: Oedipus Rex
Page Number: 47
Explanation and Analysis:
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Lyric Poetry Term Timeline in Poetics

The timeline below shows where the term Lyric Poetry appears in Poetics. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 4. Tragedy: Definition and Analysis
Tragedy vs. Epic Poetry  Theme Icon
Imitation  Theme Icon
Component Parts and Balance  Theme Icon
...by actors in a tragedy, spectacle is a component part of tragedy. Additional components are lyric poetry (song) and diction (the composition of the verse), which are the media through which the... (full context)
Tragedy vs. Epic Poetry  Theme Icon
Imitation  Theme Icon
Fear, Pity, and Catharsis Theme Icon
Component Parts and Balance  Theme Icon
4.3 The Primacy of Plot. Every tragedy, Aristotle repeats, has spectacle, character, plot, diction, lyric poetry , and reasoning; however, plot is the most important component part. Tragedy is not an... (full context)
Tragedy vs. Epic Poetry  Theme Icon
Component Parts and Balance  Theme Icon
Lyric poetry , or song, is the most important of the “sources of pleasure” within a tragedy.... (full context)
Chapter 10. Epic
Tragedy vs. Epic Poetry  Theme Icon
Imitation  Theme Icon
Fear, Pity, and Catharsis Theme Icon
...The components of an epic are the same, too, except an epic does not have lyric poetry or spectacle. An epic should have reversal and recognition, and an epic should make good... (full context)
Chapter 12.  Comparative Evaluation of Epic and Tragedy
Tragedy vs. Epic Poetry  Theme Icon
Fear, Pity, and Catharsis Theme Icon
Component Parts and Balance  Theme Icon
...not necessary to achieve catharsis. “Tragedy has everything that epic does,” Aristotle says—plus, tragedy has lyric poetry and spectacle, which are a “source of intense pleasure.” Additionally, a tragedy is shorter, and... (full context)