Poetics' fatal flaw (to borrow an Aristotelian term) is that it's an outsider's view of writing. All too often Aristotle's inventory of conventions is mimicked, as if plays were no more than the sum of their parts, and the author a phrenologist detecting a criminal from the shape of their skull. Generations of playwrights and critics have rummaged through Poetics' checklist of elements hoping to find a readymade framework for their plays or analyses.
Tuesday, October 05, 2010
On The Guardian Theatre Blog, Steve Waters laments the popularity of Aristotle's theory of drama: