Happy Halloween

…and in the tradition of an evening of representation, masks, and other such delights, a quote from Aristotle’s Poetics:

Since by nature we are given to representation, melody and rhythm (that verses are parts of rhythms is obvious), from the beginning those by nature most disposed towards these generated poetry from their improvisations, developing it little by little. Poetry was split up according to their particular characters; the grander people represented fine actions, i.e. those of fine persons, the more ordinary people represented those of inferior ones, at first composing invectives, just as the others composed hymns and praise-poems. We do not know of any composition of this sort by anyone before Homer, but there were probably many [who composed invective]. Beginning with Homer [such compositions] do exist, e.g. his Margites etc. In these the iambic verse-form arrived too, as is appropriate. This is why it is now called “iambic”, because they used to lampoon (iambizein)each other in this verse-form. Thus some of the ancients became composers of heroic poems, others of lampoons.