Poetics: Chapter 10 - Full Text

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Simple and Complex Plots

      Plots are either simple or complex, since the actions they represent are naturally of this two fold description. The action proceeding in the way defined, as one continuous whole, I call simple, when the change in the hero's fortune takes place without Peripety or Discovery; and complex, when it involves one or the other, or both. These, arise out of the structure of the plot, so as to be the consequence, necessary or probable of the antecedents. It makes all the difference whether any given event is a case of propter hoc or post hoc.

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