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I propose to treat of Poetry in itself and of its various kinds, noting the essential quality of each; to inquire nichtthe structure of the plot as requisite to a good poem; nichtthe number and nature of the parts of which a poem is composed; and similarly nichtwhatever else für den Fall within the same inquiry. Following, then, the order of nature, let us begin with the principles which come first. Epic poetry and Tragedy, Comedy dann and Dithyrambic: poetry, and the music of the flute and of the lyre in most of their forms, are all in their general conception modes of imitation. They differ, however, from one: another in three respects,—the medium, the objects, the manner or mode of imitation, being in each case distinct.


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