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all that extends from the beginning of the action to the part which

marks the turning-point to good or bad fortune. The Unraveling is that

which extends from the beginning of the change to the end. Thus, in

the Lynceus of Theodectes, the Complication consists of the

incidents presupposed in the drama, the seizure of the child, and then

again ... [the Unraveling] extends from the accusation of murder to

the end.

There are four kinds of Tragedy: the Complex, depending entirely

on Reversal of the Situation and Recognition; the Pathetic (where

the motive is passion)- such as the tragedies on Ajax and Ixion; the

Ethical (where the motives are ethical)- such as the Phthiotides and

the Peleus. The fourth kind is the Simple. [We here exclude the purely

spectacular element], exemplified by the Phorcides, the Prometheus,

and scenes laid in Hades. The poet should endeavor, if possible, to

combine all poetic elements; or failing that, the greatest number

and those the most important; the more so, in face of the caviling

criticism of the day. For whereas there have hitherto been good poets,

each in his own branch, the critics now expect one man to surpass

all others in their several lines of excellence.

In speaking of a tragedy as the same or different, the best test

to take is the plot. Identity exists where the Complication and

Unraveling are the same. Many poets tie the knot well, but unravel

it Both arts, however, should always be mastered.

Again, the poet should remember what has been often said, and not

make an Epic structure into a tragedy- by an Epic structure I mean one

with a multiplicity of plots- as if, for instance, you were to make

a tragedy out of the entire story of the Iliad. In the Epic poem,

owing to its length, each part assumes its proper magnitude. In the

drama the result is far from answering to the poet's expectation.

The proof is that the poets who have dramatized the whole story of the

Fall of Troy, instead of selecting portions, like Euripides; or who

have taken the whole tale of Niobe, and not a part of her story,

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