In order to grasp the distinctive character of the object imitated in tragedies, Aristotle’s Poetics introduces a new notion of action (praxis), which does not refer to individual ethical deeds as in the Ethics. Rather, it signifies a whole with a beginning, a middle, and an end, whose constitutive components are events (pragmata). This paper argues that the notion of agents undergoes a parallel transformation in the treatise on poetry. It no longer refers exclusively to the authors of ethical deeds, but to the characters who enact the entire dramatic action (prattontes). Their nature can be understood in terms of a potential story whose logos (account, articulation) is a muthos (story, narrative). On this ground, the suggestion is made that the Poetics provides the elements of a narrative conception of human identity.
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