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Pages of Poetics

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scar, the discovery is made in one way by the nurse, in another by the

swineherds. The use of tokens for the express purpose of proof- and,

indeed, any formal proof with or without tokens- is a less artistic

mode of recognition. A better kind is that which comes about by a turn

of incident, as in the Bath Scene in the Odyssey.

Next come the recognitions invented at will by the poet, and on that

account wanting in art. For example, Orestes in the Iphigenia

reveals the fact that he is Orestes. She, indeed, makes herself

known by the letter; but he, by speaking himself, and saying what

the poet, not what the plot requires. This, therefore, is nearly

allied to the fault above mentioned- for Orestes might as well have

brought tokens with him. Another similar instance is the 'voice of the

shuttle' in the Tereus of Sophocles.

The third kind depends on memory when the sight of some object

awakens a feeling: as in the Cyprians of Dicaeogenes, where the hero

breaks into tears on seeing the picture; or again in the Lay of

Alcinous, where Odysseus, hearing the minstrel play the lyre,

recalls the past and weeps; and hence the recognition.

The fourth kind is by process of reasoning. Thus in the Choephori:

'Some one resembling me has come: no one resembles me but Orestes:

therefore Orestes has come.' Such too is the discovery made by

Iphigenia in the play of Polyidus the Sophist. It was a natural

reflection for Orestes to make, 'So I too must die at the altar like

my sister.' So, again, in the Tydeus of Theodectes, the father says,

'I came to find my son, and I lose my own life.' So too in the

Phineidae: the women, on seeing the place, inferred their fate-

'Here we are doomed to die, for here we were cast forth.' Again, there

is a composite kind of recognition involving false inference on the

part of one of the characters, as in the Odysseus Disguised as a

Messenger. A said [that no one else was able to bend the bow; ...

hence B (the disguised Odysseus) imagined that A would] recognize

the bow which, in fact, he had not seen; and to bring about a

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