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like Aeschylus, either fail utterly or meet with poor success on the

stage. Even Agathon has been known to fail from this one defect. In

his Reversals of the Situation, however, he shows a marvelous skill in

the effort to hit the popular taste- to produce a tragic effect that

satisfies the moral sense. This effect is produced when the clever

rogue, like Sisyphus, is outwitted, or the brave villain defeated.

Such an event is probable in Agathon's sense of the word: 'is

probable,' he says, 'that many things should happen contrary to

probability.'

The Chorus too should be regarded as one of the actors; it should be

an integral part of the whole, and share in the action, in the

manner not of Euripides but of Sophocles. As for the later poets,

their choral songs pertain as little to the subject of the piece as to

that of any other tragedy. They are, therefore, sung as mere

interludes- a practice first begun by Agathon. Yet what difference

is there between introducing such choral interludes, and

transferring a speech, or even a whole act, from one play to another.

POETICS|19

XIX




It remains to speak of Diction and Thought, the other parts of

Tragedy having been already discussed. concerning Thought, we may

assume what is said in the Rhetoric, to which inquiry the subject more

strictly belongs. Under Thought is included every effect which has

to be produced by speech, the subdivisions being: proof and

refutation; the excitation of the feelings, such as pity, fear, anger,

and the like; the suggestion of importance or its opposite. Now, it is

evident that the dramatic incidents must be treated from the same

points of view as the dramatic speeches, when the object is to evoke

the sense of pity, fear, importance, or probability. The only

difference is that the incidents should speak for themselves without

verbal exposition; while effects aimed at in should be produced by the

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