Chapter 39. Aristotle's Poetics: The Aim of Tragedy

  1. Georgios Anagnostopoulos Professor
  1. Paul Woodruff

Published Online: 2 MAR 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9781444305661.ch39

A Companion to Aristotle

A Companion to Aristotle

How to Cite

Woodruff, P. (2009) Aristotle's Poetics: The Aim of Tragedy, in A Companion to Aristotle (ed G. Anagnostopoulos), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444305661.ch39

Editor Information

  1. University of California, San Diego, USA

Author Information

  1. Darrell K. Royal Preofessor of Ethics and American Society, University of Texas, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 2 MAR 2009
  2. Published Print: 30 JAN 2009

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405122238

Online ISBN: 9781444305661



  • Aristotle's Poetics - the aim of tragedy;
  • what is tragedy? and understanding it;
  • katharsis;
  • five questions for interpreters;
  • a short history of Katharsis interpretation;
  • nature of questions


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • What Is Tragedy?

  • Mimesis6

  • Understanding

  • Katharsis17

  • Five Questions for Interpreters

  • A Short History of Katharsis Interpretation

  • The Nature of Our Question

  • Notes

  • Bibliography