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|Title:||Consistency and Variation in Cicero's Oratorical Style|
|Department / Program:||Classics|
|Degree Granting Institution:||University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign|
|Abstract:||This dissertation--a comparative synchronic stylistic study--is intended to dispel the prevalent misconception that Cicero's style is monotonously the same, overornate, bombastic, self-indulgent. The question we set out to answer is whether there are any substantial stylistic differences between orations of Cicero belonging to the same year or period. Our point of departure was Cicero's statement (Orator 71-110) that the competent orator is the one who is capable of varying his style and adapting it to the particular requirements of his case.
We took as a case study in this thesis three pairs of Ciceronian speeches (Pro Caecina and De Imperio, Pro Caelio and Pro Balbo, Pro Ligario and First Philippic) making sure that the speeches of each pair either belonged to the same year or were not removed from each other by a period longer than three years.
We demonstrated with evidence the reality and tangibility of stylistic variation between orations in which the gap of time is non-existent. Then with a detailed philologiacl analysis and interpretation we accounted for the major points of stylistic variation pointing out their effect in the particular context. The factors which determine the occurrence and frequency of the various stylistic devices are the attendant circumstances of each oration: the nature of the subject matter, the character of the audience, the persona of the orator, and his particular intent. Given the same set of circumstances in two or three speeches one is likely to find in them the same stylistic devices and rhetorical strategy. In this sense one may talk of consistency and variation in Cicero's oratorical style.
The results of this stylistic study warrant the conclusion that Cicero's style (which even in the narrow compass of single oration rises and falls and passes through various gradations of elevation, forcefulness, smoothness and elegance, rhetorical playfulness, simplicity and frugality, always according to the requirements of the attendant circumstances) is characterized by variety, flexibility, and adaptability. It is a protean and elusive style.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1984.
|Date Available in IDEALS:||2014-12-16|