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Imitation of an action

In Greek literary theory, mimesis is an imitation of the course of events of a narrative that is performed. According to Plato, mimesis is one of two principal ways of presenting a narrative; the other is to tell the story by recounting or representing the course of events through speech. Based on this definition,dramas are examples of mimesis, with epic poems examples of narration. Aristotle (a pupil of Plato) makes use of the term “mimesis” when referring to imitation of an action.


Based on the definitions provided, one can consider two general applications for mimesis: the first is its application from an anthropological and psychological point of view, and the other how it can be applied in the performing arts. From the anthropological perspective, mimesis means “similarizing oneself to another”, “speaking in another’s voice”, and “acting as another does”. Both Plato and Aristotle considered mimesis as “imitation” and as a fundamental action in human life, for a child nothing more than a game, like when a child imitates the natural world of their surroundings.