What is the importance of poetry? Why do we enjoy the experience of tragic distress? Does Roman tragedy reflect Aristotelian poetics? In what ways can Aristotle's "Poetics" be read and interpreted? To what kind of use can it be put? Such are the questions discussed in this collection of essays, which examines one of the most seminal as well as cryptic texts of Western criticism - a text that still triggers essential deliberations about literature and the ways in which we relate to it.