When Plato's and Aristotle's views on poetry are juxtaposed, it is usually for the purpose of contrast. Nowhere does the contrast seem to be so sharp as in the case of tragedy, by which both philosophers, agreeing in this at least, rightly meant Homer's Iliad as well as the plays of the Attic genre specifically given the name. While Plato made tragedy the target of his most fervent attacks on poetry, Aristotle devoted the major part of the Poetics to a reconsideration of the genre, in a sympathetic attempt, it is normally agreed, to defend it against Plato's strictures, and to restore to it some degree of valuable independence. The apparently fundamental opposition between the philosophers’ responses to tragedy can be regarded as expressive of divergent presuppositions about the status of poetry as a whole in relation to other components of culture: on the one side, the presupposition of Platonic moralism, by which poetry is subjected to judgement in terms of values, both cognitive and moral, which lie outside itself; and, on the other, of Aristotelian formalism, according to which autonomy can be established for poetry by turning the criteria of poetic excellence into standards internal and intrinsic to poetry's own forms. As Aristotle himself puts the point, in one of the Poetics’ more suggestive pronouncements, ‘correctness in poetry is not the same as correctness in politics or in any other art.’ Here, as often, an implicit response to Plato can be detected.