Aristotles, Poetica Roma 1642
Aristotle: the tutor of Alexander the Great
During the golden age of ancient Greece bards roamed the countryside mesmerizing crowds by reciting the epics of Homer. Men and women came together and burst into tears by tragedies performed outside in amphitheaters during sacred festivals. Such an amazingly powerful and profound experience for an entire population. What was going on here; why were people so deeply affected? The sharpest, most analytic mind in the history of the West set himself the task of answering just this question.
In his account of Greek tragedy, Aristotle examines the dramatic elements of plot, character, language and spectacle that combine to produce pity and fear in the audience, and asks why we derive pleasure from this painful process. He takes examples from the plays of Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides and explains how the most effective tragedies rely on complication and resolution, recognition and reversals, centring on characters of heroic stature, idealized yet true to life. One of the most powerful, perceptive and influential works of criticism in Western literary history, the Poetics has informed serious thinking about drama ever since.
This stunning book is generally recognized as the starting point of literary criticism. It is complex and insightful at the same time, not easy to read, but if you are interested in philosophical aspect of human life then this is the perfect book to enrich your collection.