The Speeches in Vergil's "Aeneid"

The Speeches in Vergil's "Aeneid"

GILBERT HIGHET
Copyright Date: 1972
Pages: 391
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt13x127m
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    The Speeches in Vergil's "Aeneid"
    Book Description:

    In theAeneidmen, women, gods, and goddesses are characterized by the speeches assigned to them far more than by descriptions of their appearance or behavior. Most of the speeches are highly emotional and individualized, reminding us of the most powerful utterances of Greek tragedy.

    Gilbert Highet has analyzed all the speeches in theAeneid, using statistical techniques as well as more traditional methods of scholarship. He has classified the speeches; identified their models in earlier Greek and Latin literature; analyzed their structure; and discussed their importance in the portrayal of character. He finds that Vergil used standard rhetorical devices with discretion, and that his models were poets rather than orators. Nevertheless, this study shows Vergil to have been a master dramatist as well as a great epic poet.

    Originally published in 1972.

    ThePrinceton Legacy Libraryuses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-6946-6
    Subjects: Language & Literature
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Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents (pp. v-viii)
  3. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS (pp. ix-1)
    G. H.
  4. TYPOGRAPHICAL NOTE (pp. 2-2)
  5. CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION (pp. 3-14)

    In theAeneid,the speeches are one of the most important elements of Vergil’s art. Through them he shows us the inmost hearts of his characters; recalls the past and forecasts the future; and expresses conflicts almost as violent as a duel in armor. They contain some of his most subtle and some of his most powerful achievements in style and meter. In several of them he deploys the devices of Greek rhetoric, highly developed, and yet, in his hands, neither unnatural nor ostentatious. By the skillful disposition of short and long speeches through the twelve books of his epic,...

  6. CHAPTER TWO THE SPEECHES AND THEIR SPEAKERS (pp. 15-46)

    It is not altogether easy to define a “speech” in nondramatic poetry. Still, the context and the phrasing usually show when Vergil intends his readers to imagine they are hearing the actual words of his characters, or their thoughts put into words unspoken. It is more difficult to determine whether a speech delivered in several sections separated by brief intervals is to be considered one speech or several; but it is by no means impossible.

    The definition of “speech” proposed here is this. A speech is one or more sentences supposed to be the actual words of a character, framed...

  7. CHAPTER THREE FORMAL SPEECHES (pp. 47-96)

    As we have seen, some critics in antiquity made the mistake of finding oratorical devices everywhere in Vergil and treating all his speeches as though he had composed them according to the rules of rhetoric. It is quite different nowadays. Some modern readers instinctively reject the idea that a poet ever uses his rhetorical training when writing an epic poem; others, deploring the excess of rhetorical display in Silver Age poets and admiring the subtlety of Vergil’s art, tend to assume that he ignored or transcended the techniques he learned in the school of rhetoric.

    It is certain that Vergil,...

  8. CHAPTER FOUR INFORMAL SPEECHES (pp. 97-184)

    Although rhetorical devices occur in them, most of the speeches in theAeneiddo not follow the patterns of formal oratory. They are arranged not in accordance with the schemes worked out by the experience of public speakers and the theorizing of teachers, but by their own inner logic, dictated by their functions in the poem and the nature and situation of those who utter them. Some are meant to convey factual information; some to challenge, question, or command; some to persuade or to respond to persuasion; and some to express an emotion or a chain of emotions.

    Facts about...

  9. CHAPTER FIVE THE SPEECHES AND THEIR MODELS (pp. 185-276)

    Vergil’s poetry is rich in echoes. He defines a situation by quodng a few words from another poet; and he brings into his later work phrases and even sentences from his earlier poems. His exclamation,Improbe Amor!(Aen. 4.412) is touching in its context, but it is more touching as it recallsCχέτλιʾρωcfrom the scene in which Medea commits a dreadful crime for the sake of love (Ap. Rhod. 4.445); still more, perhaps, as it echoes Vergil’s own shepherd contemplating suicide inBuc. 8.49-50, and saying “improbus ille puer.” From a poem which Vergil loved, there is a...

  10. CHAPTER SIX VERGILIVS ORATOR AN POETA (pp. 277-290)

    It is possible to treat Vergil as an orator, or as a poet whose chief aim was to produce rhetorical effects. This was done by Tiberius Claudius Donatus, among others. Thus, when Dido requests Aeneas to describe the fate of Troy and his wanderings in exile, he replies that although it is a heartbreaking tale, he will, since she wishes to hear it in brief, relate it (Aen. 2.3-13). He sorrows for the fate of his countrymen, he has toiled and suffered for seven years, and he is reluctant to renew the agonies he has endured by evoking them in...

  11. APPENDIX 1 The Speeches in the Aeneid Listed in Sequence (pp. 291-304)
  12. APPENDIX 2 Classification of the Speeches (pp. 305-319)
  13. APPENDIX 3 Grouping of the Speeches (pp. 320-326)
  14. APPENDIX 4 The Speeches listed by Names of Characters (pp. 327-339)
  15. APPENDIX 5 Speeches by Disguised Characters (pp. 340-340)
  16. APPENDIX 6 Speeches Within Speeches (pp. 341-341)
  17. APPENDIX 7 Speeches and Thoughts in Oratio Obliqua (pp. 342-344)
  18. SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY (pp. 345-348)
  19. INDEX LOCORVM (pp. 351-369)
  20. INDEX NOMINVM ET RERVM (pp. 370-380)

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