CriticaLink | Aristotle: Poetics | Terms


All poetry, Aristotle argues, is imitation or mimesis. Aristotle imagines that poetry springs from a basic human delight in mimicry. Humans learn through imitating and take pleasure in looking at imitations of the perceived world. The mimetic dimension of the poetic arts is, in Aristotle, always representational; he does not seem to recognize anything like the twentieth-century concept of "abstract" art.