CriticaLink | Aristotle: Poetics | Terms


Literary critics and poets following Aristotle took some of the remarks in the Poetics quite literally. In particular, Aristotle's observations in Book V that tragedies should generally not represent actions lasting much longer than a single revolution of the sun were institutionalized in Renaissance theories of drama as the doctrine of the unities. Many dramatists of this period believed that a drama could only represent events taking place in a single day and in a single place. The plays of William Shakespeare were for this reason scandalous for some critics of his time.