Poetics

by

Aristotle

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Medium is the means through which an artist imitates an object. In visual art and painting, the medium of imitation is color and shape. In the art of poetry, which Aristotle is particularly concerned with, the medium is rhythm, language, and melody. According to Aristotle, imitations differ only in their medium, object, or mode of imitation.

Medium Quotes in Poetics

The Poetics quotes below are all either spoken by Medium or refer to Medium. 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 2 Quotes

Epic poetry and the composition of tragedy, as well as comedy and the arts of dithyrambic poetry and (for the most part) of music for pipe or lyre, are all (taken together) imitations. They can be differentiated from each other in three respects: in respect of their different media of imitation, or different objects, or a different mode (i.e. a different manner).

Related Characters: Aristotle (speaker), Homer, Sophocles, Aristophanes
Related Symbols: Oedipus Rex
Page Number: 3
Explanation and Analysis:
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:
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Medium Term Timeline in Poetics

The timeline below shows where the term Medium appears in Poetics. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2. Poetry as a Species of Imitation
Imitation  Theme Icon
...forms of imitation, Aristotle says, but they differ from each other in three ways: their medium, object, and/or mode of imitation. (full context)
Imitation  Theme Icon
2.1 Medium. The medium of color and shape is used by some people to create various imitations in the... (full context)
Imitation  Theme Icon
The art produced through the medium of language alone does not have an official name. There is not a descriptive name... (full context)
Tragedy vs. Epic Poetry  Theme Icon
Imitation  Theme Icon
...melody, and language. The only differences among these arts is how they use the different media. Arts like dithyrambic poetry use all the media at the same time, while comedy and... (full context)
Tragedy vs. Epic Poetry  Theme Icon
Imitation  Theme Icon
...via actors on a stage—they use the same mode. In summary, imitations differ only in medium, object, and/or mode. (full context)
Chapter 4. Tragedy: Definition and Analysis
Tragedy vs. Epic Poetry  Theme Icon
Imitation  Theme Icon
Component Parts and Balance  Theme Icon
...components are lyric poetry (song) and diction (the composition of the verse), which are the media through which the imitation is performed. A tragedy imitates an action (the plot) that is... (full context)