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Speaking in a Situation : Ovid and the Ethopoeia

Björk, Martina LU (2013) 19th Biennial Conference of the International Society for the History of Rhetoric, 2013
Abstract
The Augustan poet Ovid (43 BC – AD 17/18) is mentioned by Seneca the elder for his oratorical skills as a school boy. If we are to believe Seneca, Ovid excelled to such a degree that he even surpassed his teachers. He took special interest in exercises concerning ethos, and is said to have transferred what he learned into his own verse.

The influence from rhetorical training is indeed visible in Ovid’s literary works, not least in the Heroides (also referred to as the Epistulae Heroidum), which was probably written in his twenties. It is often called Ovid’s most rhetorical work. The poems have been compared to the preliminary school exercises suasoria and ethopoeia. The label, however, is by some classicists regarded as... (More)
The Augustan poet Ovid (43 BC – AD 17/18) is mentioned by Seneca the elder for his oratorical skills as a school boy. If we are to believe Seneca, Ovid excelled to such a degree that he even surpassed his teachers. He took special interest in exercises concerning ethos, and is said to have transferred what he learned into his own verse.

The influence from rhetorical training is indeed visible in Ovid’s literary works, not least in the Heroides (also referred to as the Epistulae Heroidum), which was probably written in his twenties. It is often called Ovid’s most rhetorical work. The poems have been compared to the preliminary school exercises suasoria and ethopoeia. The label, however, is by some classicists regarded as dismissive. It is with a certain uneasiness that scholars have approached the rhetorical character of the poems, and surprisingly little is work exists on the subject.

What will happen then if we start regarding them as having been influenced by the ancient progymnasmata? I believe that such a reading can provide an important key to the text, and might explain elements that have disturbed and puzzled readers, not least the repetitive character of the language.

The poems of the collection are modelled as fictitious letters in verse, written by characters from Greek-Roman myth, mostly women. The addressees are their absent partners: Dido writes to Aeneas, Medea to Jason and so on. The writers are in the middle of a crisis when we meet them.

My presentation will deal with Ovid’s use of the ethopoeia in the Heroides. Since the situation is of great importance for the ethopoeia, I will start to define it in some of the letters and then continue with showing how different characters are depicted within the frame of the ethopoeia. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to conference
publication status
unpublished
subject
keywords
Ovid, ethopoeia, Heroides, Epistulae Heroidum, poetry
conference name
19th Biennial Conference of the International Society for the History of Rhetoric, 2013
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
dc108682-c4e8-4acd-99b6-25fae1f033a0 (old id 4729269)
date added to LUP
2014-10-23 16:14:00
date last changed
2016-07-12 12:04:57
@misc{dc108682-c4e8-4acd-99b6-25fae1f033a0,
  abstract     = {The Augustan poet Ovid (43 BC – AD 17/18) is mentioned by Seneca the elder for his oratorical skills as a school boy. If we are to believe Seneca, Ovid excelled to such a degree that he even surpassed his teachers. He took special interest in exercises concerning ethos, and is said to have transferred what he learned into his own verse.<br/><br>
 The influence from rhetorical training is indeed visible in Ovid’s literary works, not least in the Heroides (also referred to as the Epistulae Heroidum), which was probably written in his twenties. It is often called Ovid’s most rhetorical work. The poems have been compared to the preliminary school exercises suasoria and ethopoeia. The label, however, is by some classicists regarded as dismissive. It is with a certain uneasiness that scholars have approached the rhetorical character of the poems, and surprisingly little is work exists on the subject. <br/><br>
 What will happen then if we start regarding them as having been influenced by the ancient progymnasmata? I believe that such a reading can provide an important key to the text, and might explain elements that have disturbed and puzzled readers, not least the repetitive character of the language. <br/><br>
 The poems of the collection are modelled as fictitious letters in verse, written by characters from Greek-Roman myth, mostly women. The addressees are their absent partners: Dido writes to Aeneas, Medea to Jason and so on. The writers are in the middle of a crisis when we meet them.<br/><br>
 My presentation will deal with Ovid’s use of the ethopoeia in the Heroides. Since the situation is of great importance for the ethopoeia, I will start to define it in some of the letters and then continue with showing how different characters are depicted within the frame of the ethopoeia.},
  author       = {Björk, Martina},
  keyword      = {Ovid,ethopoeia,Heroides,Epistulae Heroidum,poetry},
  language     = {eng},
  title        = {Speaking in a Situation : Ovid and the Ethopoeia},
  year         = {2013},
}