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Parode of the Chorus. The Episode is that entire part of a tragedy

which is between complete choric songs. The Exode is that entire

part of a tragedy which has no choric song after it. Of the Choric

part the Parode is the first undivided utterance of the Chorus: the

Stasimon is a Choric ode without anapaests or trochaic tetrameters:

the Commos is a joint lamentation of Chorus and actors. The parts of

Tragedy which must be treated as elements of the whole have been

already mentioned. The quantitative parts- the separate parts into

which it is divided- are here enumerated.

POETICS|13

XIII




As the sequel to what has already been said, we must proceed to

consider what the poet should aim at, and what he should avoid, in

constructing his plots; and by what means the specific effect of

Tragedy will be produced.

A perfect tragedy should, as we have seen, be arranged not on the

simple but on the complex plan. It should, moreover, imitate actions

which excite pity and fear, this being the distinctive mark of

tragic imitation. It follows plainly, in the first place, that the

change of fortune presented must not be the spectacle of a virtuous

man brought from prosperity to adversity: for this moves neither

pity nor fear; it merely shocks us. Nor, again, that of a bad man

passing from adversity to prosperity: for nothing can be more alien to

the spirit of Tragedy; it possesses no single tragic quality; it

neither satisfies the moral sense nor calls forth pity or fear. Nor,

again, should the downfall of the utter villain be exhibited. A plot

of this kind would, doubtless, satisfy the moral sense, but it would

inspire neither pity nor fear; for pity is aroused by unmerited

misfortune, fear by the misfortune of a man like ourselves. Such an

event, therefore, will be neither pitiful nor terrible. There remains,

then, the character between these two extremes- that of a man who is

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