Poetics

by

Aristotle

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Reasoning is a component part of tragedy. Reasoning is best understood as the effect produced by language—such as proof, refutation, or the production of fear and pity (catharsis)—and it allows characters to say what is important and appropriate. In written prose, reasoning serves the purpose of rhetoric and persuades readers to one point or another. Reasoning is the way in which a character argues a point or expresses an opinion, and according to Aristotle, it is the third-most important component of a tragedy.

Reasoning Quotes in Poetics

The Poetics quotes below are all either spoken by Reasoning or refer to Reasoning. 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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Reasoning Term Timeline in Poetics

The timeline below shows where the term Reasoning 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
...certain kind of character (they are either admirable or inferior). The actors express themselves through reasoning, which they use to argue a point or state an opinion. To recap, a tragedy... (full context)
Tragedy vs. Epic Poetry  Theme Icon
Imitation  Theme Icon
Fear, Pity, and Catharsis Theme Icon
Component Parts and Balance  Theme Icon
...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 imitation of people,... (full context)
Tragedy vs. Epic Poetry  Theme Icon
Component Parts and Balance  Theme Icon
...the most important component part of tragedy, Aristotle repeats, and character is second in importance. Reasoning is third: it allows for characters to say what is appropriate and important, which, written... (full context)
Chapter 9. Diction
Component Parts and Balance  Theme Icon
9.1 Introduction. Aristotle will now discuss diction and reasoning, although he covers reasoning more thoroughly in his book Rhetoric. Reasoning can be understood as... (full context)
Chapter 10. Epic
Tragedy vs. Epic Poetry  Theme Icon
Imitation  Theme Icon
Fear, Pity, and Catharsis Theme Icon
...An epic should have reversal and recognition, and an epic should make good use of reasoning and diction. Homer was the first to do this in an appropriate way, Aristotle says:... (full context)
Tragedy vs. Epic Poetry  Theme Icon
Component Parts and Balance  Theme Icon
...Diction. In parts of an epic where nothing much is happening and neither character nor reasoning are being expressed, it’s especially important to be careful about diction, because “excessively brilliant diction... (full context)