3 September 2020
Aristotle and S. H. Butcher. The Poetics of Aristotle: 4th Edition. New York: The Macmillan Co, 1907.
Originally written by Aristotle in the 4th century BCE.
In this text Aristotle analyzes poetry which he defines as relating to all art forms that thrive on imitation and thus includes our modern understanding of theater. Written sometime in 4th century BCE, the focus of the work is on Greek tragedy and its component parts. The work is descriptive, not prescriptive, meaning he is interested on what Greek drama already is, not what it should be. He uses a type of scientific method to break down his subject matter into component parts. His main areas of interest are: plot, language, imitation, representation, rhythm, human nature, epic poetry, narrative, dramatic structure, cataharsis, tragedy and comedy. Many of Artistotle's idea form the basis of core understandings of Western art and performance. This text is concerned more with larger philosophical and structural ideas about art and poetry rather than practical aspects. This version of the text contains 26 short chapters.
How does this relate to scenography?
Aristotle specifically refers to set design in through a reference to scene painting as a theatrical development linked to Sophocles (Chapter 4).
This text is relevant to theatrical design education as a fundamental text of Western theatrical philosophy. It also raises important questions about artistic imitation and representation that are directly relevant to stage design.