Poetics: Chapter 21 - Summary

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      This chapter is again devoted to parts of speech, and to the explanation of metaphor. Aristotle's treatment of poetic diction in this and the next chapter, is quite relevant to the theme of the Poetics. Though Aristotle's explanation of metaphor might sound pedantic and quite ordinary as far as the matter goes, one will have to agree that what he says is correct in a scientific way, though it may be 'dry'. What he says nuclear, concise, and correct.

      As far as diction is concerned, it is the selection and ordering of words and images in literary works.

      Aristotle observes that these words may be of six sorts. They could be: (i) those in popular usage; (ii) terms brought in from foreign dialects and languages (in English, for instance, there are a number of words of Latin, Greek, French and Italian origin, as also words brought in from Irish and Scottish dialects); or (iii) those of a metaphorical tone; (iv) ornamental term; (v) the terms which are freshly coined-most slang terms belong to this category; (vi) words which are modified, by lengthening, shortening, or by simple variation.

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